LYNCHBURG, Va. – Through songs of faith and prayer, Lynchburg’s city leaders, law enforcement and even the commonwealth attorney Bethany Harrison wanted to start the new year off on the right foot.
For years, Finny Matthew with the Lighthouse Community Center has gathered all these people in one room to pray for some of Lynchburg’s vulnerable, but this year is different.
“We’ve been talking for the last four to five years; discussing, planning and seeking, ‘Where do we go, how do we do it?’ We are taking this to a new level,” Matthew said.
That new level now includes a 200-housing unit to help homeless veterans.
Matthew and the Lynchburg Veterans Area Council want to build the housing unit on 32 acres of land in Madison Heights.
“We can definitely do much more on that property. We are designing according to what can be done on a much bigger scale. So 200 is our starting point,” Matthew said.
In 2019, Miriam’s House, an organization that helps homeless women and children, counted more than 800 homeless people in Lynchburg: 625 adults, 189 children and 71 veterans.
Last year, Matthew and Lynchburg’s veterans helped house local vets released from prison who didn't have a place to go.
“More than 40 organizations contributed to the completion of that house. So, we know the resources are there. Our goal is to bring them all together,” Matthew said.
In 2020, Matthew now believes taking their New Year’s resolutions up in prayer will give them the clear vision they need.
“Do we have the money sitting in the bank? No. But we know the money is there. God provides the funding as we take steps in faith,” Matthew said.
In February the group will meet again to discuss their city-wide plan to address homelessness, mental illness and housing concerns.