By RICK HAYES
MT. VERNON — —
Four of the 18 residents of the New Life Family Shelter in Mt. Vernon have found employment, and another has been promised a job, according to Lifeboat Alliance Executive Director Jenny O’Daniel.
“I had two more people get jobs last week,” O’Daniel said. “I have one girl working two jobs, another woman is at Cracker Barrel, another girl is distributing food samples at store and a gentleman is working at Continental Tire. I’ve got another gentleman who is going to work for a logging company.”
All of the residents who recently acquired jobs are now looking for housing.
“That’s the whole part of our program — find gainful employment, save money and get an apartment,” O’Daniel said. “It shows there are jobs out there in our community if people are willing to work.”
Lifeboat Alliance, the organization that operates the homeless shelter on Jefferson Avenue, recently elected officers, according to O’Daniel.
The Rev. John Iffert, pastor of St. Mary Church in Mt. Vernon, is the new president. Iffert replaces Rob Dyer, who took a pastorate out of state. Chad Curd remains president, Aletta Lawrence of District 80 Schools is the new secretary and Rick Pigg remains treasurer. In addition to those officers, remaining board members are Rhonda Edmonson, Randy Steele, Charlie Lamont, Rae Cummins and Richard Straeter. O’Daniel said at least two more board members will be announced in the near future.
“There is still mass confusion about our name,” O’Daniel said. “We operate, and have continually operated, as Lifeboat Alliance. We are not New Life Family Shelter. That is the name of the building. We sold the naming rights of the building to an anonymous donor. Any time you talk about our group it’s Lifeboat Alliance.”
O’Daniel said construction is completed at the shelter and officials are ready to open the family wing, which is being sponsored by the United Way of South Central Illinois. O’Daniel said a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new wing will be held some time next month.