A home for the homeless in Mt. Vernon - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

A home for the homeless in Mt. Vernon

MT. VERNON, IL (KFVS) -

A home is something that none of us who have one, can ever take for granted.

Because anyone can end up homeless when you least expect it.

But, now there's a place for those who do find themselves homeless in the Mt. Vernon area. And it's available to any woman, or woman with kids in the region.

"Before we opened there wasn't anything between here and Marion for women or women with children," said Jenny O'Daniel executive director at Lifeboat Alliance Family Shelter.

The home opened it's doors in early October. And there's already 17 women calling the place home.

"If I didn't have this place me and my children would be out on the street," said Jennifer Mangrum. "But luckily we found this place and Jenny took us in. I wouldn't have had any place to go no home at all. That means I would have lost my kids, if I didn't have a place."

The home gives the women a chance to get back on their feet. And a safe place of refuge for those who needed one.

"It has helped me. It has made me strong," said Sandra Lancaster. "I was homeless before I came here. But I was also in a very battered domestic situation. Which I went to the hospital, I was beat up pretty bad."

While the guests are in the home they have access to computers to help them find work. Or finish up their schooling if necessary.

And everyone is part of the home's family, even the volunteers who work there.

"It's personal for me," said O'Daniel. "Because I see these girls come in and they may not have a lot of self confidence. And within 30-days it's amazing. Because with a little boost, a little help you can see them transform and blossom."

The home is growing too. Work is continuing on a wing that will eventually give men a place to call home.

Which is important for anyone who is homeless no matter how old, or young they mat be.

"If we can make a baby's stay a little bit easier. Or a night a little bit warmer, that's what this is about," O'Daniel said.

The home isn't open to everyone though, everybody has to first pass a drug screening and background check. And they must be referred by a local church before they can move in.

The home is a non-profit organization that relies upon donations and volunteers to keep it's doors open.

If you'd like to learn more about the Lifeboat Alliance Family Shelter you can click on their website: www.lifeboatalliance.org/

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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