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Save Our Shelters – The Life Center of Upper Darby

For 13 years, Ohev Shalom has been one of the 50-odd Delaware Valley congregations that serve dinner at the Life Center of Upper Darby, a shelter for homeless, single adults, operated by Community Action Agency of Delaware County (CAADC).  A recent column by Jodine Mayberry in the Delaware County Times described the Life Center’s work:

The Life Center takes in about 150 residents a year for a period of six to nine months each, some straight from prison and many off the streets. These are the most destitute of the destitute, the ones who are usually forgotten even in “help the poor” drives. They are single adult men and women estranged from or without families.

They suffer from drug or alcohol addiction, AIDS, diabetes, heart disease and mental illnesses. They may be illiterate or without work skills or experience. Some come straight from prison or from long stretches sleeping in alleys and scrounging in dumpsters.

Some have just been unemployed so long they have lost their homes, families and possessions because they could no longer pay their bills.

The Life Center provides them with a lifeline — not a hammock, not even a safety net — just a thread of hope. Each resident must meet twice weekly with counselors, make a plan, set goals, attend AA or NA meetings, go to doctors’ appointments, job hunt, take classes and follow the rules.

The center’s three full-time counselors help people apply for Social Security disability and Medicaid, deal with their health issues, learn job skills and get their feet back on the ground, Shelton  (the Center’s Director) says.

To read more, click here

Cuts to Federal, State, and local funding have left CAADC with an operating deficit that they are filling with help from congregations like ours.

Swim gear for the kids at CAADC  Could you sponsor a kid at CAADC’s summer camp for swim gear?  $30 will buy a swimsuit, towel, goggles, and flip-flops, enabling the kids to take swim lessons and chill out in the pool on hot summer days.  Send your check made out to Ohev, with “HTC – Swimsuits” in the memo line.

Community News (Outside of Ohev)