At the Restoration Life Center, 415 North High Street in Neosho, extending a helping hand to members of the community and beyond is what they do. The Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce recognized the center as the December Business of the Month this week.

"We are so excited to have them as our December Business of the Month," Ashley Siler, Director of Communication and Membership Development, said. "They do so much for our area and community so it was very exciting when the nomination came in."

Restoration Life Center Board president, Kael Powers, shared what the center does with the community members who gathered to mark the event.

"We are a Christian based organization here to serve the homeless and unserved," he said. "We serve Newton County and all over the area."

The Restoration Life Center is a 30-day shelter for individuals and a 7-day shelter for families. They accept both men and women. According to Powers, it's not as common for shelters to house families but they do. Individuals who meet a certain criteria may have the option of staying up to one year.

In addition to housing, Restoration Life provides three meals a day plus snacks, the use of a washer and dryer with laundry supplies, a daily shower and hygiene supplies, vouchers for residents for clothing, shoes and coats from the Restoration Life Center Family tore, prepares them to return to the work place through a mandatory work program at the store, assists them in finding permanent living arrangements, and helps each resident realize their unique value to God and His plan for their life.

The Restoration Life Family Store is located at 308 East Spring Street, just off the Neosho Square.

The mission statement is to offer physical and spiritual essentials to those in need, enabling them to provide for themselves and their families.

The Restoration Life Center grew out of the Crosslines program, a central resource to help the needy of the community in 1988. The Ministerial Alliance recognized the need and Sister Diane Langford, St. Canera Church, spearheaded the project to form Neosho Crosslines Ministries.

Crosslines originally provided food and clothing to those in need but due to government regulations, those distributions ended in 2000.

In 2001, Crosslines acquired a former church building located at 415 North High Street for use as a homeless shelter.

The name became Restoration Life Center and the family store was added. The store serves two purposes - it allows the center to sell donation items for money to put into the operation of the shelter and provides residents with an opportunity to return to the workforce.

On their website, a Bible verse sums up the heart of what they do - "Truly, I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." -Matthew 25:40.

For more information about the Restoration Life Center or RLC Family Store, visit their website at

http://rlcneosho.org/ or visit their Facebook page found at https://www.facebook.com/rlcneosho/.