‘Care of neighbor’ at core of “Leap of Faith”
PEACE Lutheran Church recently cut checks of $14,139 each to Hospitality House and the Salvation Army’s Booth Family Center to support their programs for homeless men, women and children in western Nevada County, Calif.
“These gifts represent what the people of PEACE Lutheran Church believe is the central message of the Gospel: caring for our neighbors by using the blessings of our lives to be a blessing to others,” said PEACE Pastor Eileen Smith Le Van. “We who have a roof over our heads believe everyone should have a place to call home.”
More than 150 people in the area — and a few from farther away — donated $18,415 during the “Leap of Faith” campaign earlier this year. PEACE congregation leaders seeded the fundraiser with a $10,000 grant from a bequest left to the church by parishioner Lee Renz. A small fee was paid for online donations.
The money comes at a crucial time for the two local shelters. The Booth Family Center did not receive a hoped-for federal grant, leaving a budget gap of $55,000 for the fiscal year that started July 1, Social Services Director Sarah Eastberg said. But the “Leap of Faith” donations provide more than enough to cover electricity for one year, powering the shelter’s lights, kitchen and laundry appliances, cooling and heating, and internet connectivity.
Losing federal money
Hospitality House lost $400,000 in federal grant money for the coming fiscal year – out of a projected budget of $900,000, Development Director Debbie McDonald said. The “Leap” donations will add to income from the shelter’s new store, Bread and Roses Thrift and More at 840 E. Main St. in Grass Valley.
The losses in federal money came after California legislators shifted those funds from rural to urban areas. Starting in July, a new funding framework allows big cities to compete against small towns for federal Community Development Block Grants. It’s a response to state-of-emergency declarations in cities swamped with homeless camps that go on for blocks, social workers said.
Learn more about “Leap of Faith”
Click here to read more about people who have changed their lives thanks to the help they received from the Booth Family Center and Hospitality House. Several articles about these folks appeared during the “Leap of Faith” campaign.
Click here to learn more about PEACE Lutheran Church’s activity in our community.