Saturday, February 24, 2024

Beacon Minute 2/24/24


Beacon Minute

On Saturday, March 2, 2024, friends of our shelter will be putting on the largest event we've done in a very long time. This event was the brainchild of myself and Anita Dearhamer, to help out our friend Cindy Pohlman while she was the Director. Without Anita's help, none of this would be possible. Thankfully, so many others have stepped up to the plate to help us as well. I will formally thank everyone after the event, along with sponsors and donors. I have been helping too, but since starting as the Director I have had so many things to get going again. 

As I have mentioned before, I have now moved people into hotels, into our shelters, and most notably we've had four families move into housing. One family didn't need as much for household items, but the other three did. That means we had three dining room tables and chairs, three couches, three plus rocking chairs, three microwaves, three houses with multiple beds and bedding, and the list goes on, go to new homes. 

All of this is made possible by the generous donations of your used goods, financial support, and Amazon purchases for our shelter houses and our families. THANK YOU! 

YES! We are taking donations. At the end of 2023 we were not, but my moto is, I'll take what you are willing to give and put it to good use. We have families in need, and we can help them with your donations. A few days ago, we actually used our last donated twin bed and frame, and a week ago we used our last couch and tables. Thankfully, a few of you have offered tables! And we had a blessing of a call that offered us many items, including 6 twin mattresses with box springs and frames. Thank you for answering the call of my requests, AND thank you for calling or messaging even when you're not sure if we need or will take what you have. (And if I missed your calls or forgot about you, I am truly sorry! Just know that I have taken so many calls and messages, and it certainly is almost a job by itself to take the donations!)

I really hope you can come out to our event next Saturday. It should be a lot of fun with good music, lots of soup choices-and you can try them all-delicious deserts, charcuterie boards, great art to bid on, many baskets and items to win by raffle, and a 50/50 raffle. You can see many items that will be raffled at the event link. More items will be coming. If you bring a specific item from Amazon or Walmart, you can get extra tickets to the raffle items. See the post on our event page about which items to bring.  

Come on out to Tee Away Golf & Events. The event runs from 4-8pm. Meal starts right away, live auction of art starts at 6pm, and drawing for baskets & items starts at 7:30pm. 

Here is the link to our Amazon Wishlist:                                                            

Please enjoy this beautiful song. This is why I am here doing what I am doing. Every one of us is light. We are also not all the things that can hold us back. Clients of the shelters are often at various stages of trauma. Self-sufficiency is a process, especially when facing mental and physical issues, often along with addictions or other self-harming or self-sabotaging behaviors. But with your support, encouragement, gifts, donations, etc. we are able to offer our clients hope and the belief that they too, are LIGHT- they are not the mistakes they made, or what their family did, or the brokenness inside. THEY ARE DIVINITY DEFINED! 

It is the truth of who we ALL are! May we all be a blessing to one another! 💚💜💛💙

Erin Webster, Executive Director

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Beacon Minute 2/11/24


Beacon Minute

"All In is a multi-year, interagency road map for a future when no one experiences the tragedy and indignity of homelessness--and everyone has a safe, stable, accessible, and affordable home."

This past week I was at a two-day conference with other providers in what we call the Balance of State Continuum of Care. It was a good opportunity to learn from experts in the field of homelessness encompassing initial contact to permanent housing and after care. It was a good opportunity to meet new people, network, make plans to visit and learn more about specific shelters, and learn about things like All In.

During my time at the conference, there were notable quotes. One is from the video that I will share at the end. 

Tomorrow evening, I will be speaking at the Ladysmith City Council meeting. Before I became the director, the Lighthouse board sent a letter to the City of Ladysmith asking for some financial support for the shelters. My understanding is that it has been discussed once with little support, maybe even a second time. Tomorrow will be the second or third time.

I heard some of the reasoning that councilmen were against the funding was that the shelters aren't in the City. Which, TECHNICALLY, is true. But the shelters are only just out of the city limits. Beyond that, many, many people that have been housed at the shelters are people that have been in the City needing shelter. And even beyond that, is the reality that all communities in our County need to be aware and part of the solution to end homelessness. 

"Just because someone does not have a house, does not mean they're not a voter. And just because someone can't vote because they've been disenfranchised, doesn't mean that you don't represent them." Richard Crews.

That's powerful! I wrote it down when I heard it at the conference.

I hope to use my influence to bring people to the table of inclusion for all people in our communities. My goal is to ensure that we don't allow our governmental leaders to dismiss those on the fringe of society and those already disenfranchised. There's nothing more important than our elected leaders making decisions for all people; not only those that vote, or have jobs, or can afford housing.

Without housing, people are unlikely to make other positive changes in their lives. People often don't want to interview for jobs if they don't have access to a shower and clean clothes, while homeless. Statistics show that positive outcomes happen when people are placed in housing first. Housing first offers services at the same time and continued after housing. 

Homelessness is a life and death issue, not a crime to be solved. Criminalization can cost 3 times more than housing. We need to work at moving our system from punitive to prevention. 

Katie Bement, Embrace Executive Director, said at the event, "The less one has, the less one has to do to be incarcerated."

"All In is the Federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness, which set a bold goal to reduce homelessness by 25% by 2025 and ultimately build a country where every person has a safe and affordable home. It encourages state and local governments to use the plan as a blueprint for developing their own strategic plan and for setting their own ambitious goals for 2025. The plan is built around six pillars: three foundations--Equity, Data and Evidence, and Collaboration--and three solutions--Housing and Support, Crisis Response, and Prevention." You can view the implementation plan and guidance pate at the following link:

Erin, Executive Director

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Beacon Minute 2/4/24

 Beacon Minute

This week a lot of new things have happened! Well, new things for me, as I come upon nearly 4 weeks since taking over as the new director.

Since the passing of both our director and grant writer in November, the board had a lot of responsibility in stabilizing the clients and the houses.

Last week, I was able to put a couple we were sheltering in a local hotel, into one of the shelter homes. This is a much-needed change for them, and they hope to be moving into permanent housing very, very shortly. For them, this is a very temporary stop along the way to achieving permanent housing for their family.

I am happy to report that one of our clients called me a few days ago and said that she was able to sign a lease and would be moving into permanent housing. This too is a milestone on her journey and allows her to bring her family back together.

Another couple that we had in a hotel, was not able to get into our shelter due to having a larger dog and the shelters are full. But they too, were able to secure permanent housing for themselves. They moved into their apartment on Friday.

So recently, I've put people into local hotels, moved new clients into our shelter, moved a client out of our shelter, and moved two families into permanent housing.

None of this happens by flicking a wand or snapping our fingers! Much of it is done by me under specific guidelines for shelters and under confidentiality.

But over the past weeks I have been learning the process and requirements that it takes to do these things. It is apparent that none of this happens without grants and the support, financially and in goods donated, but also in the volunteer hours, from people in our community that care about the mission of the Lighthouse Shelter and housing the homeless in our community with the goal of permanent housing for them.

Over this time, so many have answered my call for paper goods, cleaning supplies, personal care items, and new towels and linens. Many of you have sent us monetary donations. 

THANK YOU! Again, I can’t say enough how grateful we are for your help with our mission.

For a long time, we have accepted donations of used furniture, household supplies, home decor, and clothes. Your home furnishings allow us to furnish a person’s or family’s new home with things they almost certainly are still not able to fully provide for themselves because of the transitional time they are in.

This weekend we gave four twin beds and one full bed, along with bedding for all of those and one more full-sized bed, all because of the generous donations from people like you. We also gave two couches and two dining tables with chairs. We also provided things like pots and pans, coffee makers, microwaves, dishes and silverware. For the people moving out soon, we reserved a kitchen table and chairs, a couch, and a bed. What a wonderful gift!

Logistically this all is a lot to take care of. First, it requires being able to take in donations and keep them organized. Second, it means keeping an appropriate amount of inventory of much needed items. Third, it takes strong, able-bodied people to get items from donors, to storage, to a permanent home.

As you can see, there’s lots of moving parts. After overseeing the process this weekend, I have a better idea of what’s needed to ensure a good use of people’s time and resources.

We need volunteers! Are you available one or two days to accept donations and keep our locations organized? Are you available to move big items like furniture? Some may need to be picked up and brought to our storage, some will need to be delivered to clients’ homes.

If you are interested in volunteering to help those in need, I’d love to talk with you! Over time I will probably think of other volunteer opportunities. If you have any ideas of things you could help with, I’d love to hear your ideas. Your time and energy are priceless to our organization.

This past week brought families back together, into homes they can be proud of and that allows them to work towards bigger and better things for themselves. Your help, in all forms, ensures we can provide what they need, so they can set and reach new goals!

P.S. We are getting low on the following furniture: beds (twin and full are our favorites, but queens are good as well), REALLY, REALLY low on box springs of all sizes (we know, people keep them when upgrading mattresses), kitchen sized tables with chairs, couches, and rocking chairs/recliners. Send us a Facebook message or email ( with a picture of what you have!

Erin, Executive Director