The Life and Work of the East London United Church Outreach (ELUCO)
East London United Church Outreach (ELUCO) is a United Church ministry that advocates for and supports people to build community in the midst of challenging circumstances. This ministry primarily serves the Marconi community of south-east London but also includes the ELUCO Food Cupboard at Gethsemane Gardens and the Welcome Wednesday Hospitality Lunch program in the Huron East corridor of north-east London.
Currently, through our budget, Siloam United Church pledges $12,000 toward the annual ELUCO approximate $100,000.00 budget
Marconi Community Program
The one paid full-time Community Outreach Worker develops programs to assist those in need to become more self-reliant.
- to support family needs
- to teach life skills
- to increase self-esteem
- to build community
After-school programs encompass;
- reading buddies
- homework help
- cooperative games
- cooking through a partnership with Growing Chefs Ontario
Healthy lifestyles programs focus on;
- lunch and breakfast for school age children during school year funded from May Court grant
- exploring healthy choices
- coping skills
- mental health
- budget planning
- employment readiness
- opportunities to discuss relevant issues of concern and brainstorm solutions to effect change
- Collective Kitchen providing social time, team work in meal planning and preparation, and an opportunity to learn about other cultures
- Moms and Tots facilitates short term themed programs to learn and grow healthy
- sponsored day trips and camp registration to give families the opportunities they would not otherwise experience
- Ready for School to help ease children beginning Jr. Kindergarten into school activities
- provide backpacks, school supplies and snacks for back-to-school
- post-secondary education scholarship fund to assist students in their first year with books and tuition
- love and hope to families through hampers of food and gifts at Christmas as well as a lunch and party for families and other activities during March Break and holidays
Nancy Howard, the Community Outreach Worker, is also available for counselling and support for individuals and families. She is an advocate at schools, court, Children’s Aid Society, Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program, London Middlesex Housing Corporation, Housing Access Centre, Housing Stability Bank, Union Gas and London Hydro. She works with colleagues in the Advocates Group to lobby for social justice for low-income families and is able to make referrals to various agencies to support families.
Other ELUCO Programs
ELUCO Food Cupboard (ongoing since 1987)
A 50 year grant from The London Affordable Housing Foundation allows the ELUCO Food Cupboard to operate out of an apartment at Gethsemane Gardens,1461 Huron Street. Volunteers from Siloam and Rowntree United Churches open every Wednesday and Friday morning to residents in need from the Huron East area. Food donations are from Siloam and Rowntree but cash donations are needed to purchase grocery items not donated. A generous grant from the Sisters of St Joseph as well as a grant the Bank of Nova Scotia Retirees and individual cash donations fund this program.
Welcome Wednesday Hospitality Lunch Program (since 2008)
The Welcome Wednesday Hospitality Lunch Program held at Rowntree Memorial United Church each Wednesday from September to June includes a social time with coffee and snacks from 11 am to 12 noon. A nutritious meal is served from 10 to 1 with more social time until 1:30.Games of crokinole, dominos and cards are played during the social time. Meals are prepared and served by ELUCO and Rowntree, Siloam and Valleyview Mennonite churches. Many volunteers from the community and the churches make this program a success. This program is funded mostly by the churches who prepare and serve the meals.