Luckily, we have had a mild winter so far because not everyone has been visited by the traveling home insulation vans that have covered the Morgan territory. In fact not everyone has four walls and a roof they can call their own. St. Anne’s Center shelters hundreds of Top of Utah’s homeless each year.
In fact by the end of November they reported every bed full and families including children sleeping on the floor in the lobby and dining area. Over 100 families have found refuge at the center this calendar year and those numbers are bound to rise during December. The average stay is 21 days to help them get stable and self-sufficient.
In addition to providing food, clothing and shelter, St. Anne’s Center offers help to promote recovery and returning to self-sufficiency. They offer case management to help find jobs, housing, education and life skills. They help build resumes by giving their clients employable skills and experience as well as referrals.
Donations are always accepted whether they are monetary, clothing, food or cleaning supplies. New or used items can be donated. Money is used to pay for power and water. Clothing is distributed at the shelter. Items donated such as furniture and household items are given to people as they are able to move out of the shelter and into a home or apartment. They receive $300,000 worth of items each year to take care of their clients.
Volunteers are needed throughout the year (however December volunteer shifts quickly fill up). On average St. Anne’s has 7,500 volunteers aiding in the cause.
This time of year we often reflect on our own blessings and feel compassion to those around us. The shelter uses the money collected at Christmas time to pay operating expenses for the next six months. The shelter would not be able to meet the needs of those who need it without individuals donating goods and money. They rely heavily on the generosity of the community.
St. Anne’s Executive Director, Jennifer Canter, encourages people to take a tour of the facility to see what the center does. She explained that by the end of the tour people generally have a good idea of how they could help individually.
Some people may see damage to the building they can repair, others may see needed items they may have a contact for. Many such scenarios come at the end of the tours. Each person will see the center uniquely based on their area of expertise. To schedule a tour, call 801-621-5036.
In 1981, St. Anne’s Center was formed by several area churches to help the poor, the transient and the needy with essential food, shelter and clothing. They handed out meals to those in need on Lincoln Street at St. Joseph Elementary. Soon people were sleeping on the auditorium floor to keep out of our cold winter weather.
In 1994, they were able to build a new facility through contributions from the community. They were able to provide 100 beds in addition to the meals they continually provide. They have outgrown the facility once again and are in need of help from the community. St. Anne’s Center is raising the last amount of money they need for their new home.
Along with a new building they will have a new name. Lantern House will continue to provide the necessities of food, clothing and shelter as well as training to individuals who need it. They have raised $5 Million towards the necessary improvements. One more million dollars needs to be raised to ensure Lantern House will be able to open its doors to provide a hot meal, a warm bed and training to help those in need change their life.
“Thank you!” Jennifer Canter wanted to tell the people of Morgan, “We know we get a lot of donations from Morgan.” St. Anne’s Center is working hard to provide for the disadvantaged and encourage those who are able to support them in their mission to help in any way.