By GLENN KAHL
The two-story home on Center Street by the railroad tracks that for years housed Love Thy Neighbor — a non-profit effort to help feed and clothe the needy in the South County from an effort the late Frances Bynum started in her kitchen — continues to house good deeds.
It now provides housing for Love INC (In the Name of Christ) efforts to help those struggling with life’s basic needs.
Executive Director Douglas Montandon shared the non-profit’s mission with members of the Manteca Chamber of Commerce during their weekly coffee on Wednesday. Love INC has been housed at the location since 2012 after South County Crisis Center operated there after Bynum’s passing. The home was gifted to Love INC in 2012 by the late Antone Raymus.
Montadon said the Christ-centered non-profit ministry served some 1,500 people last year finding answers for their frustrations in life and mobilizing area churches in concert to transform lives physically, materially and emotionally.
Montandon has been with Love Inc. since 2015.
The director has seven volunteers working for him, mostly retired. They are three men and four women who man the call center in the main office just inside the front door where they also find needs left on voicemail. The calls are quickly returned when the staff members return to work, with immediate attempts to solve callers’ problems, he said.
“We use a questionnaire on the phone to determine the caller’s need and better understand why they want our help. Based on that assessment we legitimize their case,” he said. “We work with most of the churches in Manteca and with Hope Family Shelter to collaborate the efforts with them.”
Those churches include Calvary Community Church, Calvary Chapel Church, Cornerstone Community Church, Crossroads Grace Community Church, First Christian Church, Manteca Church of God, Manteca Seventh Day Adventist Church, Manteca Presbyterian Church, New Hope Foursquare church, Northgate Community Church, Sequoia Heights Baptist church, Southside Church, St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Thrive Church of Lathrop and the United Lutheran Church.
They also coordinate the weekly shower van that is in Manteca on Thursdays. It is open for the use of the homeless living in the area to shower and clean up.
“We are doing some exciting things at Love INC with the moving of our paper files – all 1,500 cases – to become electronic files on the computer system. We have been hosting the homeless team task force meetings with the police on a monthly basis in an administrative role,” he said.
Love INC has also been circulating a survey to get the public’s prospective on the homeless situation in the community as they work with 25 non-profit and church partners in the community.
“God called me from a finance vocation in Livermore and I will never go back,” Montandon noted. “I’m a collaborator and I love to work with people.”.
Montandon and his wife Sara and their three daughters moved here from Livermore when he left his job as a project manager with Wells Fargo, Washington Mutual and Chase banks. Sara is a dispatcher with the Manteca Police Department.
Daughters: Carolyn Grace, 15, is a student at Manteca High; Madelyn, 10, attends Great Valley Academy in Salida, followed by Brooklyn, 6, also at GVA, and Avalyn , 4.
Love INC is one of 134 affiliates of the same name across the nation, he added.
A business card handout to those in need reads: “Having difficulty meeting basic needs? Call 209-825-9131 Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.”
The website is at loveincmanteca.org.
To contact Glenn Kahl, email firstname.lastname@example.org.