Lake Avenue Congregational Church
Family Life, on the Lakefront
Homeless men are drawn to the door of the Lighthouse by the porchlight, which shines like a beacon from the street. The men knocking on the door of the century-old
house are usually down and out, out of money or out of a job. Others come to the door lonely or hungry, hoping to find someone to give them one more chance. Up to 13 men share living quarters at Lighthouse...Those staying...work together as a family and help one another learn living, working and social skills.
Tim Dunlap, live-in director of the facility and building Superintendant of the church, insists that the men view Lighthouse as a temporary place for them to stay while they learn to live a Christian life.
"What I try to do is firmly love them," Tim said, "and show them they need to respond to rules that make society operate." Tim Dunlap plays many roles as director of Lighthouse, and often acts as counselor, authority figure and friend. "One man here needs to be responsible about his appearance," he said. "If I see him leaving the house wearing clothes that don't match, I discuss color combinations
with him and what he can do to keep his clothes clean." Another needs to be reminded that drinking coffee keeps him awake at night, he said, and one man is encouraged to date more often. Tim is effective in his ministry to these men because he came to Lighthouse himself three years ago, seeking a chance to start his life over again. Because of this, his family at Lighthouse listens when he talks about personal faith in God, and a "game plan" of regular worship, felloship and prayer. "I find I am most effective when I remember my life and use examples from my experiences," Tim said. "I remember when I was hurting, and there was someone here that took the time to love me -- and that has made the difference. Vol 1 No. 1 Nov. 5, 1981 by Carol Allen