Lifeboat Alliance Fact Sheet 





Lifeboat Alliance is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization formed in 2010.  It is an alliance of churches, schools, community leaders, service organizations, and agencies. Hundreds of people are facing homeless or near-homeless situations right here in our community.  As a community, Mt. Vernon and the surrounding Jefferson County can do better.  We can reach out with the transforming hand of Christ to those who have great need.  We are currently building our alliance of those who share our passion for ministering to the homeless.



  • Jefferson County Habitat for Humanity will renovate the former Mt. Vernon Healthcare Facility (18th and Jefferson) which is currently in disrepair and housing squatters. This is a three wing facility with 34 rooms. The three wings will be individually designated to serve women, men, and families.
  • Owned and renovated by Jefferson County Habitat for Humanity, this facility will be leased by Lifeboat Alliance.
  • An alarm system will be installed on all doors and windows to restrict entry and exit.
  • At the recommendation of a local business, the main resident entrance will be moved to the West or South side of the facility.



  • The shelter will primarily serve residents who are struggling with homelessness and seeking to make a sustained life transformation.  The shelter residents will reside at the facility 30-60 days while working with a case manager to find a job, entitled state and/or Federal benefits, and housing.
  • People who are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol will not be admitted.
  • Intake will be done by phone screening or at an off-site location. This is to eliminate loitering of rejected applicants, to address the concern of a local business, and to increase safety for shelter residents.
  • Curfews will be enforced for all current shelter residents.
  • People of violence will not be admitted to the shelter but referred to other agencies to receive assistance.



  • The annual budget for Lifeboat Alliance will be roughly $200,000.  This budget is modeled after The Lighthouse Shelter in Marion where they raise over $200,000 annually.
  • The budget breakdown includes Staff - $113,900, Operations - $31,500, Utilities - $17,500, Capital - $15,800, and Contingency - $21,000.
  • The projected financial contributions for sustaining the annual budget are local churches - $61,000, local businesses - $29,000, agencies and organizations - $23,000, foundations and grants - $50,000, and individuals - $37,000.
  • Based on the track record and success of The Lighthouse Shelter in Marion, we believe Lifeboat Alliance will be even more successful in sustaining its efforts.  This is due to Lifeboat Alliance having more community partners, the backing of Habitat for Humanity and the United Way, and having The Lighthouse Shelter as a model and mentor.
  • The ongoing facility improvements and upkeep will be funded by Jefferson County Habitat for Humanity.



  • An Executive Director will be hired approximately in April 2011 to further develop policies, fundraising, volunteer base, and hire employees.
  • Staff will be at the facility 24-hours per day for security and reception.
  • A case manager will meet with all residents seeking a sustained life transformation.


Community Partners:

  • Central Christian, St. Mary’s Catholic, Logan Street Baptist, First Presbyterian, First United Methodist, Prince of Peace Lutheran, & Southwest Christian Churches
  • Mount Vernon City Schools, District 80
  • United Way, Catholic Social Services, Youth Build, & Habitat for Humanity
  • Donoheaven Foundation


Board of Directors:

  • Rob Dyer – President (Pastor, First Presbyterian Church)
  • Dr. Tyler Brown - Vice-President (Assistant Superintendent, Mt. Vernon City Schools and Trustee, Central Christian Church)
  • Rhonda McCowen – Secretary (Executive Director, United Way of South Central Illinois)
  • Chad Curd – Treasurer (Edward Jones Financial Advisor)
  • Mark Ballard - Board Member (Elder, Central Christian Church)
  • John Iffert - Board Member (Pastor, St. Mary's Catholic Church)
  • Charlie Lamont - Board Member (Retired, Mt. Vernon City Police and Deacon, Logan St. Baptist Church)
  • Rick Pigg - Board Member (Vice-President, Community First Bank)
  • Cheryl Settle - Board Member (Co-Chair Church Council, First United Methodist Church and Assistant Superintendent, Regional Office of Education #25)
  • Randy Steele - Board Member (Pastor, Southwest Christian Church)
  • Richard Straeter - Board Member (President, Habitat for Humanity)