Gathered with the tents and bags filled with toiletries that will be given to the homeless are, from left, St. Paul Lutheran Pastor Alan Knoke, Shelley and Mike Meckes, who made the donations on behalf of the church, Angie Miller of S.A.L.T. and Kathy Gragorace, a S.A.L.T. Board member.
Gathered with the tents and bags filled with toiletries that will be given to the homeless are, from left, St. Paul Lutheran Pastor Alan Knoke, Shelley and Mike Meckes, who made the donations on behalf of the church, Angie Miller of S.A.L.T. and Kathy Gragorace, a S.A.L.T. Board member.

S.A.L.T. Leader Paying It Forward

A committee at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Greenville is working with Angie Miller, the daughter-in-law of a local woman, Betsy Nealeigh Miller, in getting help for the homeless in the Dayton area through the Serving and Loving Together (S.A.L.T.) project.

S.A.L.T., Angie M‎iller said, is a nonprofit organization with a non-profit status and a board of directors.

“We file as a non-profit with the state and our biggest need is somebody who would donate legal advice pertaining to non-profit law,” said Miller.

She strives to help the homeless because, as a recovering drug/alcohol addict, she wants to pay it forward. She, at one time was homeless, as well and is familiar with what they are going through. (More on Angie will be appearing on Darke County Now soon).

The S.A.L.T. project was started by her and she now has a certification as a Peer Recovery Supporter in the state of Ohio and is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselors Assistant.

After hearing about this work and brainchild of Angie Miller, St. Paul’s Church members decided to get involved in her mission in helping the homeless.

Thus, Mike and Shelley Meckes are spearheading a drive to help out with Miller’s mission.

The church has already purchased four tents and 25 bags filled with toiletry items for her to give to the homeless people in need and those items were presented to her this week at the local church.

According to Shelley, Angie seeks out homeless people.

“She finds them because they’re hiding,” Shelley explained. “She tries to build a relationship and trust with them. She tries to get them out of their situations. They have to have a plan and work on it. There’s no place to go.”

Miller’s initial encounter with a homeless person is to give them a tent and bags.

The local church committee also committed a $250 gift to S.A.L.T., plus will be giving the organization $100 a month for a year. And, they will still gather the bags and toiletries to be given to the homeless.

Angie works locally with Kathy Gragorace, a S.A.L.T. board member in charge of helping with ordering and getting supplies as well as helps out in the prison ministry they also work with.

“Tents are a hot commodity all around Dayton,” Angie told them. “A ton of people who get kicked out of Greene County make their way there. I started buying tarps from Amazon for this time of year. We also make sack lunches for them weekly.”

“Take small steps to make a difference” said the Rev. Alan Knoke, pastor of St. Paul’s Church for the past three years but with the church for four years.

“We hope some in our area will start doing this for the homeless here,” Mike Meckes said. “In the meantime, we will help her.” We are planning on doing this on a regular basis, depending on what they need. We’re open to anything helping people locally.”

Gathered with the tents and bags filled with toiletries that will be given to the homeless are, from left, St. Paul Lutheran Pastor Alan Knoke, Shelley and Mike Meckes, who made the donations on behalf of the church, Angie Miller of S.A.L.T. and Kathy Gragorace, a S.A.L.T. Board member.
Gathered with the tents and bags filled with toiletries that will be given to the homeless are, from left, St. Paul Lutheran Pastor Alan Knoke, Shelley and Mike Meckes, who made the donations on behalf of the church, Angie Miller of S.A.L.T. and Kathy Gragorace, a S.A.L.T. Board member.
Darke County Now Staff - Linda Moody - Staff Writer

Linda Moody / Staff Writer

I am a Darke County native living in the Ansonia area with my son. I have been in journalism 50+ years and enjoy what I do.

Contact Darke County Now Media Correspondent Linda Moody @ lmoody@darkecountynow.com or 937-337-1955.

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