A NEWSLETTER CONNECTING BEACON AND THE COMMUNITY
Beacon Community Connections is a 501(c)3 nonprofit focused on building community by making connections. Our mission is to empower anyone in need through collaboration, connection, and advocacy for individual wellness and community-wide quality of life. Our work focuses on delivering exceptional non-clinical case management to individuals and families with social support needs. Beacon also coordinates the efforts of the Justice and Health Collaborative and the Lafayette ReEntry Coalition. We believe we are better together.
Executive Director's Message: Beacon's Business
1) What does Beacon do?
2) Why did you start Beacon?
Both questions have similar answers at their core - Helping People.
I'll answer the second question first. I started Beacon because I saw a need in our community that was not being met. While South Louisiana has many supports and services for neighbors in need, it was hard to figure out how to access those resources. I am a lifelong helper, so I figured out a way to help that turned into Beacon Community Connections. Beacon provides a trained professional to help connect neighbors to resources to meet their needs and provide follow-up care to ensure that the needs is resolved and no other needs are present. It is an effective blend of guidance and empowerment that I am very proud of. If you want to know more about the Beacon story, listen to the Robinson Ventures Radio podcast linked below. If you want to know more about me, scroll to the bottom of the newsletter, I finally agreed to be the Beacon employee highlighted this month.
Robinson Ventures Radio Podcast with Beacon's Executive Director, Holly Howat
Bringing to Light: Mr. T's Success Story
Life had dealt Beacon client Mr. T an unexpected and difficult blow—newly disabled, he was unable to continue working. Adding insult to literal injury, his insurance provider denied his request for a rollator, equipment essential to his mobility. Beacon stepped in to help Mr. T initiate the disability application process and with help from the “Together in Quarantine” project, purchased and delivered Mr. T.’s new rollator. Mr. T’s Beacon Navigator also helped him apply for rent and utility assistance as well as general financial assistance. As a result, Mr. T’s worries were lessened by assistance from local community organizations, and Walmart gift cards from SLEMCO’s Operation Round Up. In addition, Mr. T was approved for disability. Mr. T. was thrilled with the outcome of his Beacon Navigator’s efforts and Beacon was equal parts happy to have made such a positive impact at an uncertain time.
Elevating the Conversation
Thank you to all who participated in the Summit and Festival. It was a huge success! We had over 100 attendees for the Summit and over 600 attendees for the Festival. Thank you to Acadiana Center for the Arts, The Good Dudes, JB Saxx, our food truck vendors, and Eman Boyd Productions.
Summit Proceedings are almost finalized. We have the presentation slides from each presenter. Videos of the sessions will be available on November 1st. Check out the proceedings here or at www.lahealthsummit.com.
Spotlight on Beacon Blend Coffee
This spring and summer, Beacon was the Reve the Movement selected nonprofit. Working with Reve Coffee Roasters, Beacon had it own Beacon Blend coffee available through Reve's website and coffeeshops. This partnership was successful in raising over $2,000 for Beacon's Navigation Fund. Our Navigation Fund provides our neighbors with food, transportation, shelter, medicine, and other basic needs when no other community resource exists. Thanks to Reve and to all who purchased our Beacon Blend.
Shine Like a Beacon: Dr. Holly Howat
Dr. Holly Howat is the brave visionary who in just five years has moved Beacon from an idea to a powerhouse for good. As our Beacon Community Connections Founder and Executive Director, we count on her “Better Together” brand of leadership. While Holly has lived in Lafayette for 20 years, she is proud to tell you that she is a four-generation Texan who attended the University of Texas at Austin with fellow alums Matthew McConaughey and Brene Brown. We interrupted Holly’s focused and forward stride to pose a few questions. Enjoy getting to know Beacon’s own powerhouse for good--Dr. Holly Howat
“How do you think your colleagues would describe you?”
I think my colleagues would describe me as compassionate, competent, and a bit too serious.
“What do you want to make sure you do before you die?”
When I retire, I plan to travel and be a bee-keeper. High on my bucket travel list are the pyramids of Egypt and anywhere in Australia.
“Name a few of your daily habits (other than a shower and brushing your teeth).”
I meditate almost every day using the Calm app.
I also read every day. Reading has opened so many doors for me.
“What would be your personal motto?”
Obviously, it's “Better Together”—for not only myself, but Beacon. Also, when I'm struggling, I tell myself that it's going to be okay.
“Any “fun facts” you’d like to share about yourself?”
I started my career as a speech-language therapist which is how I learned to make people talk.
For something more fun, my music of choice in high school was hair metal (think Bon Jovi, Poison, etc).