Monday through Friday, folks line up for lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 414 N. 6th St. for a hot meal, sack lunches, showers and information. Twin brothers, Micheal and Marcus Wyatt, took over the daily operation of LOU’s service to the working poor and homeless in August following the unexpected loss of the mission’s creator, Susan Long, in July.
Susan and her husband, John Long, started the community food service program four years ago to carry out a mission to feed the hungry and show them God’s love.
“It was her vision and her calling,” Wayne Murphey, pastor at God’s House Ministries, said. “John got in there and helped her out and made it work.”
The Wyatt brothers were introduced to LOU’s out of their own need for the service and say that Susan’s kindness radically changed their lives.
“Miss Susan was a generous individual who loved helping others and was passionate about feeding the hungry,” said Micheal Wyatt, who volunteered alongside her last year. “She was active and dedicated to her mission -- Lunch On Us Kitchen. When she passed away, we wanted to continue God’s work here.”
The brothers fund the kitchen out of their own pockets at an average of $1,500 monthly. John Long continues to help with the grocery shopping and pays the monthly $600 utility bill.
“For me, it’s doing God’s will,” said Micheal Wyatt, who volunteers every morning preparing lunches before heading to work. “Helping those in need, seeing the smiles on their faces when they get a meal or shower -- helping others out really keeps us going. We have seen the great need in Guthrie and want to help out.”
They also hope to have some sort of transitional housing to offer in the future, but that will likely require some help from the community.
“Having spent a good deal of time with these young men, I find myself so impressed with their commitment and heart for the homeless,” OJ Meyers with Neighborhood Solutions said.
Neighborhood Solutions assisted with building renovations about four years ago, but the two-story building is in need of a new roof and long-term partners to reach their goals. Currently working to affiliate LOU’s with the Regional Food Bank, volunteers hope that partnership will alleviate a percentage of meal costs and allow for expansion of LOU’s services.
“Five dollars a month from 30-40 people would go a long way around here,” Myers said. He added that any monetary donations for roof repairs and food are welcome, along with hygiene items and clothes for men and women.
As a 501c3 organization, all donations to LOU’s are tax-deductible and can be mailed to Neighborhood Solutions at 2003 W. Warner in Guthrie or mailed to LOU’s c/o Grace Covenant Academy at 624 W. Warner with checks payable to: LOU’s.
Micheal Wyatt's Story:
“Guthrie has such a drug problem. For the most part, people don’t see it. We need to reach out and get to the root of the problem. I can’t tell you how many couples I know right now that are trying to get their kids back. They don’t have any place to go to get clean and get their head back on straight. They’re couch surfing and chasing their addiction. We have a drug problem, not a homeless problem. I come from it. The Lord saved me from all that, but there’s a lot (of people) that are still out there fighting. Not enough people want to get involved to help, to show that kindness. When I was fighting my addiction, I begged for help. I begged the churches to give me something to do, but no one was there to help me. I refuse to let these people walk around without someone to help them. All it takes is one act of kindness. You can change. You gotta let them know they’re worth something. I care. I care what you’re going through. I can’t change it, but I care. That’s what this place is. Miss Susan, before she passed, she’s what helped me. When no one would help me, she helped me. I refuse to let that die. If it did it for me, it can do it for someone else. I need to let these people know that someone cares about them.” -- Micheal Wyatt, LOU’s Kitchen