What Is Beacon?
Beacon is like a lighthouse in the midst of dangerous waters, Beacon is the churches of the community coming together to provide a beacon to those who find themselves in those waters. Communities with treacherous coastlines would come together to support the building, upkeep, and services of the community lighthouse. They did this because they wanted to provide a guide for getting back safely on solid ground. In the same way, Beacon provides a beacon of hope and guidance within our community for those who have hit rough waters in their life. The light that any one congregation could provide is limited, but when we come together, the beacon shines brighter and reaches farther into the darkness.
By coming together, we are able:
*To connect people in need to services and resources
*To partner with churches and others in addressing the deeper issues that contribute to poverty and hopelessness
BEACON originally came into being out of a need by local churches to deal with the issue of people going from church to church requesting financial assistance. Pastors were finding that some were abusing the system by going to Church A one week, church B the next, and making a circuit on a regular basis. A clearinghouse was created by these area churches to have a central calling place to take applications, vet the people seeking help, and keep track of those clients to avoid enabling a dependency on “handouts”. Our clients come in with bills ranging from $200-$2000 for needs like utilities and rent. We refer these clients to relief agencies such as Catholic Urban Programs, Urban League, Intergovernmental Grants, etc.
*Unconditional acceptance of all persons
*All individuals have the capacity to change and grow
*Respect for all religious traditions
*Honor and Foster volunteer action
Resource Call Center
For clients needing assistance, call 618-416-4538 Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm.
This is the heart of Beacon’s ministry. Assists individuals and families in times of financial crisis. Helps callers make a plan for handling immediate crisis and connections to other needed community services including job placement, food, and clothing.
Beacon is working with others to find solutions for those experiencing homelessness in the Belleville area.
We have joined in partnership with The Sanctuary, a daytime drop-in center serving those experiencing homelessness. Through this partnership, we are building relationships that hopefully will result in changed lives that can assimilate back into society and a permanent home.
We will soon begin providing financial literacy training to help those receiving fixed incomes to better manage limited resources. Financial literacy training sessions, dealing with various aspects
of money and life management, will be held at The Salvation Army Corps Center,
20 Glory Place, Belleville, IL between 11 a.m. and noon on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month, led by student interns from SIUE working with TOCO and BEACON.
Beacon seeks donations of furniture in good condition to distribute to families in need, based on inventory in stock.
NOTE: Beds are twin or full size only.
Requests for furniture are received through the Resource Call Center. We are moving to a system
in the near future where those requesting furniture will have to be referred by one
of our partner agencies, as we will be contacting case managers
to verify the need. We have had to do this because of
abuse of the system.
For the time being, furniture recipients will need to come to the warehouse to pick up their items.
Donations can be delivered to Beacon’s furniture warehouse by appointment.
WE ARE IN SERIOUS NEED OF
VOLUNTEER HELP TO EXPAND OUR SERVICES.
Many of our clients cannot come to the warehouse
to pick up their needed items, or to bring donated furniture.