$30,000 challenge grant may result in $80,000 to support outreach to the poor

An anonymous donor has offered a $30,000 contribution to Dear Neighbor Ministries on the condition that a matching $30,000 is raised from other donors. “The original donor hopes to attract others who have not given in the past, but are supportive of our ministries”, said Sister Helene Lentz, chair of the board.
Once the match is raised, all $60,000 will be added to a new endowment fund for Dear Neighbor Ministries. This fund was started with a $20,000 gift earlier this year. Once this match has been raised the endowment will be initiated with an $80,000 investment.
“This gift is most welcome but does present a unique challenge in these hard economic times”, said Sister Helene. “We are asking people for help to secure the future of our programs while we are also trying to bring support to today’s operating needs.”
Dear Neighbor Ministries was started in 2001 by the Sisters of St. Joseph. Programs include; home visitation in the Hilltop neighborhood, food deliveries, emergency assistance for rent, utilities and other basic needs. In addition, representative payee services are provided to over 90 people unable to manage their own monthly disability income. Other Dear Neighbor Ministries programs are; a community garden, volunteer tax preparation and a food purchasing cooperative.
In 2005, StepStone transitional housing for survivors of domestic violence was brought into the Dear Neighbor Ministries structure. StepStone provides housing and supportive services for survivors of domestic violence for up to two years after they have been in one of the area emergency shelters. StepStone began in 1996 when the Sisters of St. Joseph and the Adorers of the Blood of Christ identified this service as a much needed program in Wichita. The goal of StepStone is to help women become self-sufficient and able to live free from abuse.