The day began – as it often does – with a veteran referred to Community Lifeline Center for assistance. He was fidgety: he hated asking for help because he was trained in self reliance; curt: irritated by all the questions that sounded so much like more military bureaucracy; impatient: he had other things to do – he just wanted the assistance so he could be on his way.
But, the discussion began – as it always does – with a detailed review of what documentation is required for assistance: service forms, evidence of employment or unemployment, and documentation of the crisis. There are very strict CLC protocols that have to be followed before assistance is provided.
The Community Lifeline Center receptionist recalls that “… he was not a happy camper when he left. As I was telling him about the paperwork he kept saying ‘yeah, yeah, yeah’. As soon as the intake was done he left in a hurry.” So much so, that the office pool betting was 10-1 against his return. But, return he did. The receptionist warmly remembers: “I teased him about the day before, we all laughed and the rest is a happy history.” He received a gentle smile, genuine concern, and life changing assistance.
Like so many who come to CLC, he learned that each and every dollar, utility payment , cooling fan, gas card, prescription assistance, training class, counseling session, personal item is given with great care. There are strict limits on who gets what and for how long.
CLC knows that donations – whether from church partners, individuals, companies, federal, state or city grants – are a precious resource. They’re not infinitely renewable or sustainable. The donations that allow CLC to serve exist through the generosity of people who believe our community cannot thrive where there is poverty and crisis.
So every request for assistance is vetted carefully following strict protocols. The vast majority of every dollar donated goes to provide services to those in crisis, so it’s crucial that those needs are genuine. In fact, a number of service organizations and churches refer those in need to Community Lifeline Center, because they trust CLC’s verification process and experience.
Hope and help are very different things at Community Lifeline Center. Hope is infinitely renewable and abundant. Help is given carefully, one crisis at a time.