First of all, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the matter-of-fact article about Emmaus House that appeared in the Nov. 16 issue of The Telegram. Even more, thank you so very much for the editorial that appeared in the Nov. 17 issue. Your support and your very gracious words about our mission are most appreciated. We could not have expressed any better what Emmaus House is about, or the importance of what we do.

The anonymous online comment that followed the editorial does, however, demand a response. We at Emmaus House honestly do not concern ourselves about tobacco use or similar habits on the part of the people that we provide for. Very simply put, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. It is not our place to judge or to criticize others for whatever failings we may perceive in them, or in the way that the poor choose to utilize their meager resources. Also, we choose not to look cross-eyed at those who drive nice vehicles to our facility. We do not have any way of knowing what that person's situation may be, in particular, whether or not that person recently lost a job or otherwise has suffered a financial setback and is unable to change vehicles to a "more appropriate" one for a person in poverty.

That having been said, Emmaus House does make a good faith effort to be a good steward of the funds that are entrusted to us to meet the needs of this community. Any person who shows up at our front door seeking asylum, a place to stay on a temporary basis, must first secure clearance from local law enforcement showing that that person is not a wanted fugitive. Any person or family seeking food assistance is required to fill out an application which is then screened by the executive director or house manager. We do enforce guidelines for those who seek help in this way, similar or comparable to the federal poverty guidelines. These safeguards are by no means perfect. Without doubt we are on occasion fooled into providing help to individuals or families who do not qualify and should not be receiving our help at all. We try to be good stewards, but we are willing to be fooled occasionally rather than turn away those who are truly in need.

As a board of directors which also includes Vern Peifer, Von Hunn, Charlie Barker, Laurie Gerber, Ron Major, Alan Cheatum, Gary Fuller and Boyd Funk we have decided to respond to the present funding crisis with a campaign asking individuals or families who do not support us now to consider making regular donations of $10 per month to Emmaus House. Please consider a regular donation of $10 per month as a minimal level of support for a vital local organization that continues to meet needs as those present themselves in Garden City and in southwest Kansas, in the name and love of Jesus Christ.

Sincerely,

RICHARD HODSON,

Lakin

Hodson is a member of the Board of Directors of Emmaus House, Inc.