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 is making changes to the operation of our furniture ministry, listed below:
1. Our service area will continue to be limited to the cities of Belleville, Swansea, Shiloh, Fairview Heights, O’Fallon, and Caseyville. Due to demand, we will not accept clients from outside these six communities even if referred. There must be an exigent need (coming out of a homeless situation, fire, domestic violence, etc.).
2. Clients must be working with a case manager or pastor with whom the need can be verified. BEACON will ask clients for a contact person. If they cannot provide the name of a specific person at your agency or church, the request will be denied. After referral, the client will call BEACON, at which point an application will be made.
3. BEACON will call the case manager/pastor identified for verification. If they cannot verify the client, the application will be denied.
4. Clients will need to provide the following pieces of documentation:
-copy of driver’s license or official I.D. issued by the state
-a copy of the occupancy permit listing all occupants (public housing for senior citizens will not have this available, in which case the requirement for a permit will be waived). All present occupants must be verified.
5. Clients are limited to four items of furniture. We will also provide some basic housewares if needed.
6. Due to a lack of volunteers, we are unable to do pickups and deliveries. Clients will need to have their own means of picking up the furniture at our warehouse in downtown Belleville. The address will be given when the application is approved.
Beacon seeks donations of furniture in good condition to distribute to families in need, based on inventory in stock.
NOTE: Beds are generally twin or full size. We rarely have any queen size beds.
We also cannot guarantee the availability of bed frames.
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.
TOCO-Tapestry of Community Offerings 825 West Main, Belleville, IL 618-257-8626
The Salvation Army--St Clair Co. Corps Center 20 Glory Place, Belleville, IL 618-235-7378
Catholic Urban Programs 7 Vieux Carre Dr., ESTL, IL 62203 618-398-5616
St. Vincent de Paul - Southern Illinois 8800 West Main, Belleville, IL 62223 618-394-0126
TASC 218-A W. Main, Belleville, IL 62220 618-277-0410
Other agencies will be added to this list as they identify themselves. If you are an agency or church wanting to refer potential clients, please call our office at 618-416-4538.