Loaves and Fishes is an emergency overnight shelter and transitional housing program in Lansing’s downtown area. It serves eight to nine men and four women nightly, providing meals and a safe, warm place to sleep.
The organization also provides supportive services such as case management and referrals to other services. It is open 365 days a year, helping people with a hot meal and a warm bed.
“People are homeless for various reasons,” said interim Executive Director Sallie Campbell. “We are there for anybody who needs it, as long as we have the room.”
The shelter is open from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m., and guests can stay up to 30 days. Things like laundry, toiletries and phones are there for guests to use, along with bus tokens for transportation. Meals are served at breakfast and dinner. Sack lunches are available if needed.
“We have many people that will donate meals,” said Campbell. “They make fantastic meals for our guests, like they were their own family. We appreciate everyone who donates their time or items.”
Luke’s House and Zacchaeus House are transitional homes to help people move to more permanent housing and become self-sufficient. Zacchaeus House offers women with children a safe space to get back on their feet, while Luke’s House serves single men.
Loaves and Fishes staff is a fantastic group of individuals, some of whom have been homeless themselves. Dorothy Moore, a current guest advocate and previous board member at Loaves and Fishes, was once in that position herself with her three children. Knowing the struggle that people face and the problems the system presents firsthand, she is better able to serve the guests and help them through their difficult periods.
“There’s no look to being homeless,” said Oliver Gram, the staff assistant at Loaves and Fishes. “You never know who’s going through a tough time.”
If you’re looking to volunteer, Loaves and Fishes is always looking for people to lend a hand — whether it’s providing dinner, blankets or on-site assistance.
“We’re always looking for help,” said Campbell. “We can always use volunteers anytime during the day. Even if you just show up, we’ll have something you can help with.”
Visit loavesandfisheslansing.org for more details.