New Day Shelter a Beacon of Hope


Erik Wander/KMXT

The Lighthouse Shelter opened its doors last week for anyone in need of a warm meal and a place to stay during daytime hours. Lucien Bernard, a long time Kodiak resident, who has been serving Saturday morning breakfast at the Kodiak Baptist Mission for eight years, started the shelter with the help of his non-profit organization and Saint James the Fisherman Episcopal Church. KMXT’s Erik Wander has more.

70-year-old Lucien Bernard, who has been in Kodiak for 12 years, said the shelter opened the day after Thanksgiving. Bernard said the few people he’s seen at the shelter so far are appreciative, and he hopes to see more visitors as word spreads.

(Bernard 1 15 sec "We did get online … happy and very thankful.")

Bernard, a Vietnam veteran, who struggled with alcoholism for 40 years and lived on the streets of Reno, Nevada for a period of time, said he’s gratified to be able to fulfill his long-held dream of helping people in similar circumstances in Kodiak.

(Bernard 2 40 sec "I’m much more prepared … I can give it back.")

Bernard established the Kodiak Lion Tamers non-profit organization eight years ago to help recovering addicts and the homeless. He said there is a great need for such services in Kodiak and that more needs to be done to help.

(Bernard 3 22 sec "We have a lot that needs to be done … to help people.")

The shelter also offers faith-based, group counseling through Bernard’s own Kodiak Lion Tamers and the national Celebrate Recovery programs. He said the programs are not only for people with addiction problems or who live on the street.

(Bernard 4 17 sec "When I first got sobered up … who in the world you are.")

The shelter, located at 415 Thorsheim Street at Saint James the Fisherman Episcopal Church near Brother Francis Shelter and the downtown area, is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Bernard said all are welcome for breakfast, lunch and sometimes even dinner. He asks that people call ahead if possible, so he has enough food on hand. The shelter also welcomes volunteers to help prepare or serve meals. I’m Erik Wander. ###

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