People's Life Institute

.... moving forward to a place of
self-sufficency and stability

4305 S. James L. Redman Parkway
Plant City, FL 33567
813-468-0133

About Us


People’s Life Institute is a non-denominational Christian ministry serving individuals and families in the eastern Hillsborough and western Polk county area. We operate under the 501(c)(3) non-profit umbrella of the Shiloh Baptist Association and rely wholly on generous donations from individuals, a local network of churches, ministry partners and community grants.

We are caring friends and strong advocates providing spiritual and practical assistance, resources and referrals. Scripture tells us to care for one another:

Titus 3:14
And our people must also learn to devote themselves to good works in order to meet the pressing needs of others, so that they will not be unfruitful.

OUR VISION: is for the individuals and families we serve to experience God’s love and true peace while they move forward to a place of self-sufficiency and stability as healthy, productive, committed members of the community.

OUR MISSION: to be a conduit for the gospel of Jesus Christ as caring friends and strong advocates for those who are experiencing adversity or misfortune.

HOW WE HELP: We provide spiritual encouragement, assessment and case management and facilitation of training, coaching, education, practical helps and referral to other resources to empower and elevate our friends on the journey to self-sufficiency and stability.

OUR CORE VALUES ARE:

ACCOUNTABILITY - for our actions and attitudes (James 5:16 - Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.)

COMPASSION - to others through kindness and advocacy (Eph 4:23 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.)

FORTITUDE - to courageously face and overcome fear and adversity (Rom 5:3 And not only so: we also exult in our sufferings, knowing as we do, that suffering produces fortitude)

GRATITUDE - for the blessings we have and may receive (1 Chronicles 16:34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.)

LOVE - of God and his people and creation (1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God and everyone who loves is born of God....)

VERACITY - through habitually speaking the truth (Psalm 119:160 The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.)

SELF-CONTROL - to build success and maintain stability (2 Tim 1:7 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.)

About Us

Team


Linda Dougherty

Meet our Director!

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Karen Herndon

Meet our Financial Administrator!

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Ron Walker

Meet our "Ron of all Trades" and Master of all things Techy!

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Services


Assessment & Case Management

Case Management Advocacy Program: One on one initial assessment is offered for case management with a view to identify immediate and long-term needs. We then assist the client to develop an individual action plan toward the client's goals and desired outcome toward self-sufficiency and stability. Clients may be referred from the local business, church, civic or non-profit community.

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Scholarships & Education Assistance

Earn as you learn Child Care Classes Food Safety Courses Basic Computer Skills Select tutoring assistance

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Addressing Obstacles to Success

Discussion and solution seeking for child care, transportation and other challenges. We cannot guarantee or promise anything, but often, as we explore options to address the challenges, it is possible to find creative and innovative ways to solve problems and overcome obstacles.

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PLI Brochure

Our current brochure, August 2020

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Weekly Focus


Suicide and suicide attempts are steeply increasing in our youth, caregivers and others in mid 2020. Remember Deuteronomy 30:19-20 – “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!"

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Blog


24Sep

Keep your eyes on the goals!

We can get very busy and distracted and sidetracked by our lives and the things we think we need to do.  The truth is... we always have choices on how we can prioritize our tasks and rearrange those things that need be elevated on our "to do" list.  Many busy, successful people have a list of short term and long term goals and adjust their daily lists to make steady progress toward those goals.  A family member is currently working on a degree, has a family, a job and a busy life.  She is constantly juggling time and tasks to keep all those plates spinning, especially in light of unexpected things that we all run into.... temporary situations that need immediate attention.  

The secret is to always keep your eyes on the goal and never lose sight of where you are going.  We all have to pull over to get gas, an oil change and the occasional repair to the car but we keep driving toward our destination.

Ask yourself the following questions when you are looking at a jam packed day and all the things you have to do:

Is this something I have to do or could another family member more easily and competently do it?

Does this have to be done today or could I schedule it when I am in the area or working on similar things?

Do I have an absolute deadline for this assignment, phone call, bill to be paid, etc?

Do I have to do this task?  Is it really essential for me and the family?

How does this help me move toward my goals?

By stripping away the imposed obligations (by others) and being true to yourself, your values and your family, you can prioritize your daily list and remove some stress and anxiety from your day.

Only you can choose how you will spend the minutes and hours of each day.

Blessings,




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02Sep

The Good Neighbor NextDoor

September 2, 2020

NextDoor is a social networking service that provides “trusted connections and the exchange of helpful information, goods, and services.”  I am connected to our local NextDoor hub which links 37 neighborhoods within about a five-mile radius.  There are always posts about a missing dog or a found cat, inquiries for a good lawn service, handyman, pet sitter, roofer, plumber and so on.  Recently however, there was a real outpouring of neighborly love, concern and action and it appears that some of these folks did not even know the elderly lady who was the recipient of the good will gestures.

Apparently this dear lady had air conditioning problems and called a repair service that did not fix her unit properly but still charged her about $1,000 to work on it.  She was still very hot and uncomfortable and one of her neighbors found out.  She jumped to action and found a service to go out and fix the air conditioner and began to raise funds through the people connected on NextDoor.  Incredibly, she was not only able to muster up the funds for the second repair, but most of the first repairs are also paid for by individuals pledging money in mostly $100 increments. 

These good folks, neighbors all, took care of their elderly neighbor just as we are prompted to do in the Bible book of James.  Pure religion is to look after widows and orphans in their distress; we are told this is pleasing and acceptable to God.  (James 1:27)  It was so wonderful to see neighbor helping neighbor, the strong advocating for the frail, the ones who could taking care of those had did not have.  

There may be cities and communities where folks are disagreeing with each other, protesting and committing mayhem, but not so here.  Not once did any of these kindly folks mention their political party, social status, or other point that could divide them.  They all focused on the problem and being part of the solution, even as they were going about their lives that are sorely impacted by the Covid-19 virus.  I doubt this is the first time they have helped a neighbor with a meal, repairs, a kind smile or an encouraging word. 

My neighbors are doing well and fulfilling the law, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” James 2:8.  And they will be blessed because they gave freely and with love. “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”  

A good neighbor increases the value of your property.  ~ Czech Proverb

I'm grateful for good neighbors.





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23Aug

The "55 Things I’m Grateful For" Challenge:

My first 30 listed here:

  • Time to pray and reflect before falling asleep
  • Freedom to pray, read my Bible and other books of my choice
  • As one of my older clients says, “waking up on this side of the dirt!”   Blessings!
  • A good nights’ sleep on clean sheets with two pillows
  • A good sturdy house with air conditioning
  • Steady barometric pressure so my shoulder isn’t sore
  • Vitamins, Aleve and Sudafed PE
  • A few minutes of quiet time before the busyness of the day
  • Being physically and mentally able to perform the busyness of the day
  • Hot, fresh, delicious coffee with cream and sugar
  • Ezekiel bread toast with deli peanut butter
  • A nice kitchen to fix the coffee and peanut butter toast in
  • Hand lotion and Q-tips
  • Clean, comfortable clothes I like and feel good in
  • A recent “good” haircut (sometimes they are not good haircuts!)
  • Toothbrush (medium bristles) and toothpaste 
  • A clean comb and brush, hair dryer and gel
  • Hot shower with soap and shampoo (God please show us more about how to help our homeless friends and neighbors and let us be willing to do it)
  • The feel of freshly washed tile floor on my bare feet
  • Thinking of a really good friend always willing to make time to listen
  • A car that is paid for and runs well
  • The car that runs well and has the capacity for many more miles
  • Being able to pay for oil changes, new batteries and other maintenance
  • The ability and opportunity to earn money to pay for those things
  • A job I enjoy and that is fulfilling and hits my “sweet spot”
  • Discovering the color “greige” and what I might do with it
  • Being able to march in place or briskly walk several miles on any given day 
  • Sunshine, blue skies, fresh air, green grass and flowers  
  • Dental insurance and overcoming sticker shock on re-treatment of a root canal
  • Planning to schedule said root canal next week (blessing in progress)


To be continued……

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20Aug

You and I are probably a lot alike; we both are feeling a lot of “stuff” right now.  Negative “stuff!!” Frustration, fear, impatience, and a general sense of “will this EVER be over?” meaning, the Covid-19 virus, the effects of it on our family, friends, livelihood and life.  Where is normal?

Combined with the turmoil and chaos going on in some areas of the country, the rising prices of food, housing and medical and dental care……  back some years ago we used to express frustration and irritation by yelling “AARRGGHH!!!”  (out loud this sounds like something between a bear with a sore toe and a swashbuckling pirate yelling “Ahoy matey”)

When we lift something heavy, most of us grunt or make a guttural noise of some kind.  When we are agitated, we may go to the gym and lift a few more pounds, run a few more feet, kick the bag more forcefully as we cry out, howl, grunt or exhale deeply.  For me, cleaning is my emotional clearing house.  The more frustrated and irritated I am, the cleaner the baseboards may be and the thinner the paint covering them. 

Anything like cleaning, dancing, running or other forms of physical activity that is healthy and appropriate is great to help clear out some of the pent-up emotion and frustration.  Nathaniel Thom, a physiologist who deals with stress and its effects on the body writes, "exercise, even a single bout of it, can have a robust prophylactic effect" against the buildup of anger.  Physical activity can even help make us happy.1 

Sometimes it is hard to deal with the anger, fear, frustration and other deeper and darker emotions some of us may feel.  The Insider website reports:

  • 11% of American adults reported seriously considering suicide in June, about double the percentage who did so last summer, a new CDC report finds.
  • Rates of suicide ideation were highest among 18- to 24-year-olds (25%) and unpaid caregivers for adults (30%).
  • The report also found that the prevalence of symptoms of depression and anxiety quadrupled and tripled, respectively, compared to last year.
  • In total, 40% of Americans reported some mental health issue or substance abuse related to the pandemic.2

Call immediately if you or someone you know is in need of talking, counseling, assistance or call 911 if it is a medical emergency.  Don't wait and don't hesitate!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline                          

1-800-273-8255

Hours: Available 24 hours. 

Languages: English, Spanish. 

Click here for website 

Remember God loves you.  He made you and values your feelings, your life, your dreams and your hopes. Deuteronomy 30:19-20  – “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life.” 

Choose life and call for help!


1Reynolds, Gretchen.  New York Times. “Well:  Phys Ed: Can Exercise Moderate Anger?” 15 Aug 2010.  https://archive.nytimes.com/query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage-9B02EED61539F936A2575BC0A9669D8B63.html

2 Miller, Anna Medaris.  The Insider.  CDC:  11% of US adults seriously considered suicide in June.  13 Aug 2020.  https://www.insider.com/cdc-11-percent-us-adults-seriously-considered-suicide-in-june-2020-8






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14Aug

One definition of a Portmanteau is "a word or morpheme whose form and meaning are derived from a blending of two or more distinct forms" 1  (such as smog from smoke and fog.)  Another is a large suitcase, high quality, vintage, bearing the treasured memories of travel and adventure.  In the case of the word we look at today, the idea of a large suitcase carrying lots of meaningful content is quite appropriate. One of my favorite portmanteau words is "gratitude" made from combining parts of "attitude" and "grateful."  It is a great way to inspire hope, keep us motivated and combat anxiety.  There is a lot of anxiety in our lives right now:

  • Am I going to catch the coronavirus?
  • Am I going to keep my job?
  • Are the children going back to school so I can go back to work?
  • How am I going to feed my family?
  • How do we pay our rent or mortgage?
  • My car needs repaired; how do I afford that?

There seem to be no solid answers about when or if this crisis will be over.  We hope for a vaccine or a great treatment to prevent death or serious harm to our health, but this is being handled by scientists and other professionals.  It seems as though we just have to wait and wait and wait.  This causes stress, anxiety and turmoil in our daily lives.

To combat anxiety and stress, mental health professionals recommend cultivating gratitude for a number of reasons, which include the fact that gratitude releases toxic emotions, reduces pain, promotes better sleep, aids in stress regulation and reduces anxiety.  Cultivating gratitude also fosters "adaptive coping mechanisms. By managing positive emotions like satisfaction, happiness, and pleasure, gratitude enhances our emotional resilience and builds our inner strength to combat stress." This is supported by scientific evidence, clinical studies and many testimonials.  It is supported in scripture, philosophy and can be self administered.2

The late Billy Graham wrote an article about thankfulness and gratitude; he had 90 years worth of life experience to reflect upon. His life was blessed but it was not stress free by any means.  As a human, he suffered the same temptations, sadness, grief, uncertainty and stress as we all do.  But it is how we approach and deal with anxiety that makes the difference.  He says, "And yet in the midst of those trials we can thank God, because we know that He has promised to be with us and that He will help us. We know that He can use times of suffering to draw us closer to Himself: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance” (James 1:2-3, NIV)."3

Interrupt your anxiety today and cultivate gratitude as a tool and a strategy for a better outlook on life!  It's simple to start by listing ten things you are grateful for.  Write them down and read them.  See if you can add more.  This is an exert from my upcoming book:

"Gratitude can change your perspective about everything. This situation occurred in 2006 and I have used the strategy numerous times to shake off the mullygrubs. One time, I changed it up a little and started to count comfort and personal hygiene items in my bathroom.  

I wrote them all down and thanked God out loud for each item, for toothpaste, a toothbrush, soap, shampoo, toilet paper, petroleum jelly and so on until the count reached fifty-five items. It does change your perspective when you stop to think that we may have fifty-five items in our bathrooms that we take for granted every day.  These are things that are so lacking in other people’s lives all over the globe. It is a real eye opener and a cure for the blues!"4

My challenge to you is to find fifty-five things in your life that you count as blessings and that you are grateful for.  Please comment and let me know what you discovered.

References:

1.  “Portmanteau.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/portmanteau. Accessed 15 Aug. 2020. 

2.  Chowdhury, Madhuleena Roy.  Positive Psychology.  "The Neuroscience of Gratitude and How It Affects Anxiety and Grief."  12 May 2020.  https://positivepsychology.com/neuroscience-of-gratitude/

3.  Graham, Billy.  BGEA.  "How to be Thankful in All Things."  21 Nov 2017.  https://billygraham.org/story/how-to-be-thankful-in-all-things/

4.  Dougherty, Linda.  Knowing and Leading Yourself First.  Lakeland.  2020.  Pages 83-84.

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14Aug

Welcome!

Welcome to People's Life Institute.  In this current time of turmoil, unrest and financial hardship, everything in our world has been turned upside down.  Every part of our lives has been impacted by Covid-19; our daily lives are uncertain and it's almost impossible to plan or schedule anything.  We don't know for sure when schools can and will open back up or how long they will stay open.  This affects our livelihood, peace of mind, causes emotional turmoil and stress on relationships and especially damages our children and their well being.  

Our clients have seen uncertainty in how they will provide the basics, such as food, shelter, utilities, transportation and medical care for their families. There are obstacles and challenges to survival as never before. While we do not have the answers to everything, we are here to help in any way we can.

  

I'm Linda Dougherty, (aka Linda D) serving as the Director of People's Life Institute.  I'm obviously a fan of roosters and I will tell you straight up, I love coffee, Jesus, my husband and my job.  

I was born in Florida and my husband came here 37 years ago from the Appalachia Mountain area of SE Virginia.  We attend a local church in the Plant City, FL area and have been involved with ministry for over 20 years.  We both have a heart for those who are suffering from adversity and misfortune.  

Together with our volunteers, donors, prayer partners, ministry partners and other kind heart folks, PLI serves individuals and families in this area. I'll tell you more in future blog entries, but for today, here is some information about how we assist our clients:

PLI Avenues to Success:

Spiritual:  The Gospel will be communicated to each person or family that comes to our door, with an offer of continuing prayer, encouragement, friendship, and a connection to a local, evangelical church in their home neighborhood.

Case Management/Advocacy Program:  A one on one assessment is offered to initiate case management with a view to identify immediate needs and long-term needs.  We then develop an individual action plan toward the desired outcome of self-sufficiency and stability.  Clients may walk-in, be referred from the local business, church, civic or non-profit community.

Life Knowledge:  Once needs are identified, we focus on appropriate training, coaching and education for those areas where help is needed such as personal budgeting, parenting and life skills such as nutrition, personal health and hygiene needs. 

Industry/Education:  Where needed or desired, we work to connect clients with available vocational training opportunities, and other resources (GED acquisition, Khan Academy, Moodle Online college classes.)  We help build skills such as resume building, practice interviews, development of work ethic and routine of work to help restore dignity and self-esteem.  Limited scholarship assistance may be available as clients progress toward their goals.

In some cases, after training and skill building are achieved, we refer individuals to those businesses and organizations in the area seeking to fill job openings where we have a trusted relationship and connection.

Practical Helps/Referrals:  Access to computers, copier and printers for resume printing, faxing, online job searches, some certificate training for short courses, viewing training videos and ACCESS point for applicants and recipients of SNAP (food stamps), Temporary Cash Assistance, Medicaid Programs, and related needs.

Community Partnerships:  Referrals to other organizations where necessary and appropriate for safe shelter, housing options, legal assistance, transportation, child- care, rent or utilities assistance, food assistance, work clothing and shoes.

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Articles


CDC directs halt to renter evictions to prevent virus spread

Latest update on federal eviction intervention.

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Latest Update on Executive Order Regard Covid 19

Summary of latest (8/7/2020) Executive Orders

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Hillsborough County Community Resource Centers

Hillsborough County has community resource centers to offer assistance with rent, mortgage payments, food, utilities and other needs.

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Florida State Unemployment Site

This is where you can access the Florida Workforce and Unemployment Benefits to apply for jobs and benefits.

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How To Stay Motivated in Your Job Search

This is a good article about staying motivated and continuing your search for a great job!

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Sharing God's Hope During Covid-19 (Six part video series)

The Billy Graham Evangelical Association offers a six part video series on dealing with grief, hopelessness, sadness and other issues wrought by the Covid 19 pandemic. This is a great resource to restore hope, receive encouragement and come to know about how deeply God loves and cares for you.

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Contact


  • 4305 S. James L. Redman Parkway, Plant City, Florida 33567
  • Due to Covid-19 and CDC Guidelines, we are not accepting walk-ins at this time.

Remembrance