The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is working with religious and community organizations in Ogden, Utah to improve living conditions for homeless families. In addition to the Church’s donation, the state of Utah has contributed, along with several foundations.
The Church made a donation of $1.5 million to help build the Lantern House, an Ogden facility to house the homeless and specifically to keep families together. A groundbreaking ceremony was held 22 April 2014, with all participating organizations getting a chance to turn some dirt to begin the project.
“The primary focus of Church Humanitarian Services is not only to help the poor and needy but help lift them to a point of self-reliance,” said Rick Foster, manager of LDS Humanitarian Services and LDS Charities. “Homelessness affects all sectors of our communities.” The Church tries to follow the example of Jesus Christ of helping those in need.
Ron Frost, chairman of the St. Anne’s Homeless Shelter board, said the Church was the first group to donate. “With their support the rest of the community got behind the project. The Church has been very generous to us.”
The Lantern House will be located west of downtown Ogden and construction on the facility will begin soon with completion expected in early 2015.
Pamela Atkinson, a representative of Utah's governor and a leading advocate for the homeless, said this project extends beyond cooperation. “This is true collaboration. What we’ve got here is people coming together working with one another for a common goal.” She said, “This is an example of partnerships focusing on helping our homeless friends giving them a chance to succeed.”