October is Mallinckrodt’s Global Month of Service, a company-wide initiative encouraging employees to give back to our local communities through volunteer and fundraising events.
Homelessness affects more than 550,000 people on a typical night – a problem that is on the rise in a number of major U.S. cities. For individuals struggling to get back on their feet, getting a roof over their head is simply one part of a multi-faceted problem.
Passing the background check necessary to secure affordable housing presents its own set of challenges, as does filling a new residence with basic furniture. An individual’s journey out of homelessness is often aided by support from a variety of public and faith-based organizations.
Among the many institutions providing support to the homeless community in downtown St. Louis is Lafayette Park United Methodist Church. It has a dedicated ministry called New Beginnings that works with individuals who are moving into their first apartment after being homeless, providing them with essential household items and furnishings. The effort helped ease the move-in effort for more than 125 people in the region in 2018.
Recently, a team from Mallinckrodt’s St. Louis manufacturing plant spent a day helping New Beginnings reach those in need. The team included Larry Heugatter, Process Safety Manager; Alda Thiems, Senior Health and Safety Engineer; and Jeff Blaies, Principal Environmental Engineer. They furnished an apartment and provided groceries for a man with serious health challenges who was previously homeless. They also provided assistance to a Vietnam veteran with serious health issues, moving donated furniture into a relative’s house where he will reside. Veterans represent roughly seven percent of the overall homeless population.
“The experience was very moving for the whole team,” said Heugatter, who coordinated the volunteer effort and has worked with New Beginnings for several years. “We had an opportunity to interact with the recipients who were all extremely grateful for our efforts. It’s wonderful to work for a company like Mallinckrodt that encourages you to spend a day giving back to the community.”
Check back here for more stories about how #MNKGivesBack to our local communities.