Excutive Director’s Corner

Hi! Welcome to my corner of the L&F website,
and Welcome to 2024!

The holidays are a special time for me. I’ve always found myself enjoying the traditions of Christmas; the trees, the lights, the tunes! It’s a special time for my family.

As you may know, the holidays can be extremely depressing, and not just for those experiencing homelessness, but many people struggle to get through the holidays.

Working in shelter, in the latter part of the year, focusing on the positive – the good that happens all around you – is of the utmost importance; not only to keep yourself prepared as you move through a sea of what can be negative thoughts and feelings being experienced by those around you, but to help combat those thoughts and feelings being experienced by those around you as well.

This holiday season, we had so much to be thankful for. We are SO grateful that all of our guests in the shelter were adopted by individuals and groups that really wanted to – and did –pour their hearts into making a positive impact on our guests this Christmas.

Seeing how the community will come together for the benefit of our guests and our shelter reminded me that the holidays are so much more than we give them credit for. It’s a time to be with family and be thankful for the time we have been given; a time to give of ourselves and carry that spirit into the New Year.

The end of the year kicked off an exciting charity event for our shelter. We are excited to be a part of “Coldest Night of The Year” (CNOY). CNOY is about getting the community together, in teams, for a walk that will be on what is statistically the coldest night of the year. You can check out cnoy.com for more information, or if you’d like to register as a team, a walker, or even a donor, you can sign up at cnoy.com/register. The walk will be held at the River Trail in Old Town on February 24, 2024. More details will be available on the Home page of our website at www.loavesandfisheslansing.org as well as on our Facebook page.  We invite and welcome anyone in the community who would like to help us raise funds for the shelter and commit themselves to something bigger than any one of us can do, or be, individually.

Finally, a HUGE Thank YOU to our dinner volunteers, dinner preparers, those who donated goods, and those who donated monetarily!  From the bottom of our hearts…THANK YOU for helping make this Holiday season a HUGE success.

Most gratefully,

Teri Looney, L&F Executive Director

A Welcoming Message from our new Executive Director Teri Looney

Fall 2023

I became Executive Director of Loaves and Fishes in May 2023. Time moves a little differently here. It’s a fast pace and you are fully immersed, so- before you know it, six months has gone by, but those six months did not disappear. Coming into a new environment and organizing things in an efficient way can feel a little like playing Tetris; this piece belongs over here, while this one should be over there, then you clear out some clutter bricks, and there’s space to breathe a bit.

It’s been a Summer of movement, change, and bringing an even tone to the shelter. While we have seen a lot of changes and improvements, there is still work to be done. There will always be work to be done! We will always have to evolve and grow and adapt to our surroundings.

We are seeing the community come together like never before, and it is motivating and encouraging to see. We are beyond thankful for the corporate donations we have been a part of and received. We were a part of a large sock donation from a local non-profit working with Bombas, as well as many private donations of jeans, coats, and other various and important winter items – too many to list here. Thank you ALL…and please keep them coming.

The really GOOD NEWS is that over the last six months, we have seen many guests in the shelter secure permanent housing. Our staff continues to grow and grow stronger as a team, and we’ve hosted many volunteer groups who have come in and cleaned, organized, and have really helped us stay on top of things. Thank you to the Apple Volunteer Initiative Program, Baker College Owosso Nursing Program, MSU Nursing Student Association, Lineage Logistics and their Foundation for Good – who graciously volunteered to help organize our cellar and provided us with beautiful outdoor standing outdoor planters.

Lastly, the shelter is getting some beautiful upgrades thanks to a generous grant from Home Depot, and another generous grant called the MDHHS Homeless Shelter Repair Grant. Our guest kitchen in the Emergency Overnight Shelter and the main kitchen in the Gathering Place (which connects our 831 and 835 houses) are getting completely remodeled, as well as new flooring throughout the entire shelter – all of which is sorely needed since the majority of our facilities are well over 100 yrs.

We have many reasons to be thankful as we move into the Holiday season, and many reasons to give of ourselves and to our community, and we should all be excited for the future!

As more guests are securing housing, household items are always needed: furniture, dishes, towels, etc. We deeply appreciate donations! To arrange for the best times to drop things off OR make plans to deliver used furniture, please call Monday – Friday between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm.

We hope your holiday season is filled with all of the warmth, joy, and safety that we are able to provide in the shelter.