Lighthouse Mission cuts ribbon at new Canal Street location

By Mandy Mahan

During the First Friday festivities in Downtown Wabash on Friday, June 4, Officials from Lighthouse Mission, 85 Hope, FISH of Wabash County and Advantage Housing cut the ribbon to their new building located at 123 West Canal Street, formerly the Wabash Plain Dealer.
Keith Gillenwater, CEO of Grow Wabash County welcomed the crowd.
“This is the best part of my job, when we get to do ribbon cuttings,” he said. “It doesn’t seem like that long ago that we were doing a ground-breaking, I know it must seem like longer ago to everyone else up here, but doing the ribbon cutting for such a great facility, a reuse of a building, a true partnership between non-profits, local government and our economic development organization to be able to get this building to someone who is going to be able to put life back into it. The organizations that will be represented in this building have been at the forefront of meeting the needs of our community for a long time and we are thrilled to see them at a location that’s going to benefit everyone.”
Kristi Clark, Lighthouse Mission board member, spoke next about the journey of the thrift store. 
Since the start of Lighthouse Mission in 2004, the board members knew they would eventually need a bigger building, and in 2019, were approached by Mayor Scott Long about purchasing the building that will now house the thrift store as well as a food pantry, a medical clinic and a housing business. The board wrote and received a grant Office of Communal and Rural Affairs (OCRA) to purchase the building.
“We turned in our grant to OCRA in the Fall of 2019,” Clark said. “We were constantly reminded that most don’t get funded the first time, so not to get our hopes up, but we were funded the first round in January of 2020 and ironically, or, not ironically, the next two cycles, due to COVID, we wouldn’t have even had a chance to turn in our application if we needed to a second time.”
Clark thanked a plethora of people, organizations and community members on behalf of the Mission.
The new location is not open for business yet, but is planned to be open and running by the end of June. Lighthouse Mission is currently still open at the location on Cass Street.
“We wanted to reveal tonight the overall name of the new building is Lighthouse Crossings because many people will be crossing our doors that may be at a crossroads in their lives, our combined agencies can provide a crossing into a healthier life to those in need, and it’s our combined desire to make this new space one of refuge, hope and healing,” said Clark.
Pastor Brad Wright from LaFontaine Christian Church gave closing remarks.
“This building is appropriately named because one of the things that a lighthouse does is it brings a safe passage in and out of a harbor for the boats and ships and that’s exactly what’s happening here,” he said. “It’s happened at the other place as well.”
Claire Coyne, who was the original director of Lighthouse Mission, prayed to close out the ribbon cutting, followed by Courtney McClure and her daughter Callie singing the benediction.
Guests were then invited into the building to see the transformation and learn about what’s to come. 

Posted on 2021 Jun 08