To The Daily Sun,
I'm writing in regards to the Isaiah 61 Cafe and what they are doing to help the Lakes Region's less fortunate. The cafe is owned and run by David and Dawn Longval, and volunteers who give their time, and meals. It is a place for the homeless to go to get a nice meal, continental breakfast and lunch served Monday through Friday, and they can shower, and do their laundry, get their mail, have a locker to keep their stuff in so it doesn't get stolen, and listen to Dawn play her guitar and sing worship songs, and just hang out.
Not only that, but they get to know everyone personally, and love everyone unconditionally, wherever they are at in life. They love the addicts, the alcoholics, the people shunned by society; they make people feel like they do matter, and give them hope, they show people that there is a reason for them to try and do the right thing, to better their lives. And then they help people with taking the steps to do that, whether it's taking them to the Farnum Center for intake, or to Navigating Recovery to get a recovery coach, helping with paperwork, anything they can help with.
A lot of times the meals they provide are the only meals someone gets, but not just a good meal, but a friendly smile, and genuine "How are you?" and a warm hug. Sometimes those simple little gestures can turn someone's whole day around, or their whole life. I know because last summer I was on the streets, addicted to drugs, and that's when I met David and Dawn, and they play a huge part in saving my life. I will never forget that first day I actually met them, Dave said "Would you like a sandwich, and a water?" I said yes, ate the sandwich and drank the water, then fell asleep as Dawn played her guitar and sang. They didn't know me at all, not even my name, but they treated me with so much compassion, I didn't know how to feel, but now I feel extremely grateful to have met them that day, and since then they have become family to me, and to others as well. This area has needed people like them for a long time, and what they are doing is changing lives, and that's amazing. They are loved and appreciated by so many people, myself included.
The Isaiah 61 Cafe is named that because of the scripture in the bible, Isaiah 61:1-4, and it's located at 100 New Salem St. In Laconia.