Anchor Lancaster began as a ministry of St. James Episcopal Church in downtown Lancaster in the 1980's. Over the next 30 years, St. James continued serving the community, helping a steadily increasing number of neighbors who needed a good start to their day. When the need outgrew the space, the search began for a new home for the program.
On August 1, 2017, Anchorage Breakfast (as it was known at the time) was eagerly welcomed to First United Methodist Church on the corner of Duke & Walnut St in Lancaster City and the congregation took on the ministry with full force!
Within a year, the program transitioned to an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization, hired Executive Director Patty Eastep, and expanded its vision! Patty fostered relationships with community service providers (social workers, health care providers & social service organizations), hired a guest-focused security team, implemented training for all volunteers to encourage an atmosphere of respect & engagement with guests. Over the next few years, a shower program was added, providing a reliable source of hygiene for those living on the street.
In 2023, our Case Manager Connor Doyle was hired to help members of our community obtain necessary services that are oftentimes confusing to navigate. Connor helps individuals secure IDs, find temporary shelter & permanent housing, receive rehab and other medical treatment, solve transportation issues, and work towards becoming employed.
Anchor now hosts a Summer & Winter Day Shelter for our guests to come out of the weather, enjoy coffee & cold drinks, charge phones, meet with our caseworker and relax in a safe comfortable setting.
Anchor's focus continues to be on our guests and on what we can do to receive them in a spirit of respect and dignity.