LU Green Bay Center, Main Campus team up to aid homeless shelter
Lakeland University’s Green Bay Center and LU’s Dining Services team are teaming up to provide free meals and activities for Green Bay homeless families served by Freedom House.
On October 20, Lakeland Dining Services prepared 50 meals (15 for adults and 35 for children) at the university’s main campus in Sheboygan County. Green Bay Center staff members picked them up and delivered the meals, as well as provided some after-dinner activities for the children.
“Volunteers are a vital part of our team at Freedom House,” said Freedom House Vice President Crystal DeCleene. “As a small nonprofit organization, we have a lean staff and utilize volunteers for many important functions, including answering the phone, completing screening forms with families seeking shelter, preparing and serving meals, providing childcare for parents who are attending classes on site and acting as mentors for families in our financial wellness course. We are thankful to have people willing to donate their time to the Freedom House mission.”
The effort is part of the Lakeland Kellett School’s Community Engagement Committee, which identifies ways for the university to serve and positively impact the communities in which Lakeland University’s seven Kellett Centers are located.
“Homeless families have needs, and adding colder weather, upcoming holidays and a nation-wide pandemic to the equation only magnifies stress levels and need,” said Jennifer VandenAvond, director of Lakeland’s Green Bay Center. “As members of the community, we wanted to do something to let these families know they are important and not alone. Our community is very fortunate to have facilities, like the Freedom House, to service our communities’ families in need and we are thankful to be a part of helping meet these critical services.”
Freedom House Ministries, Inc. is a Christian-based non-profit organization that provides shelter, three meals a day, clothing, classes, basic necessities and case management support to families struggling with homelessness. Freedom House is the only homeless shelter in the Green Bay area that provides services exclusively to homeless families, serving single mothers, single fathers and couples with children.
Lakeland’s centers serve part-time students, often working adults, attending in-person and online classes. Along with Green Bay and a location at its main campus, Lakeland has centers in Chippewa Falls, Madison, Milwaukee, Neenah, Wisconsin Rapids that this fall serve 1,595 undergraduate and graduate students.