LIMA — Students from Lima’s public and parochial high schools will be working together to help improve the lives of those living in the city without a place to call home.
Family Promise of Lima-Allen County, the only family homeless shelter in the city, is partnering with the two high schools for Houses for Change, a fundraising campaign in which students decorate house-shaped collection boxes that are then used to collect change used to help continue the work of Family Promise. This is the second year Family Promise and Lima Senior have worked together, but this is the first year that Lima Central Catholic has gotten involved.
“Every month, [Lima superintendent] Jill [Ackerman] and I get together for breakfast,” LCC president Walt Klimaski said. “Ususally, it’s more or less about athletics, but she handed me a paper last month on this and asked, ‘Will you do this with us?’ So I took it back to Stephanie Williams, our high school principal, who said, ‘Yeah, this is right up the alley of things we do.’”
Students from both schools will run the program in their own way, collecting change over the next several weeks.
“This project proved so successful last year, both in raising money for Family Promise and in teaching our students about the reality of homelessness and how they can help,” Ackerman said.
Lima Family Promise executive director Chuck Wolfe noted during Monday’s kickoff at Lima Senior that the organization has had great success helping local families transition out of homelessness.
“We’ve served about 114 families since our inception in 2008,” he said. “That translates to about 450 men, women and children. About 80 percent of that number have sucessfully gone on to housing.”
LCC sophomore William Garlock and Lima Senior senior D’Niyae Morris were both excited to see how this project can make a difference in the community.
“We are a faith-based place, and we want to help people in our communities,” Garlock said. “We’re going to go back to our school and tell students that this is a big thing for our community.”
“Last year, we had a great turnout, and we just want to see things get better and better this year,” Morris said. “I hope to see more schools come together to make this a bigger event.”
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.