Nashville woman helping others become self-reliant

King Benjamin of the Book of Mormon once admonished his people to care for those around them, to "succor those that stand in need of your succor." (Mosiah 4:16.)

A person's struggles may be the result of poor personal choices or simple bad luck. There is no reason to withhold assistance and compassion. After all, King Benjamin said, we are all beggars, depending "upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have." (V. 19.) Modern prophets echo King Benjamin's counsel. Christian service, they say, allows people to serve the Lord and make a difference in the lives of others. Today, Church members such as Libby Frech-Klimley find motivation in the king's wise, kind words.

Sister Frech-Klimley began serving as a public affairs specialist years ago in various stakes and wards. She thought writing and photography was her gift, a tool to benefit others and strengthen the Church. After moving into the Nashville Tennessee Stake, she was asked to help oversee publicity for a stake service project to promote a walk to benefit the homeless. During the course of Sister Frech-Klimley's duties, she met Raymond Klimley, an advocate of the homeless who had spent three years living on the streets himself.

Their association and mutual concern for the homeless evolved into a relationship. Later they married. Now they work together, helping Nashville's homeless find jobs and a way back into society. In 1998, Mr. Klimley, who is not a Church member, founded Honest Day Labor, a non-profit, temporary and permanent employment agency that finds and secures job opportunities for Nashville's poor. Now Sister Frech-Klimley, who serves as Honest Day Labor's board chairwoman, figures she has accrued more than 7,500 volunteer service hours in assisting her husband battle homelessness.

"I've always been more successful using my talents doing the Lord's work than trying to make a living at it," said Sister Frech-Klimley, a member of the West Nashville Ward of the Franklin Tennessee Stake.

The offices of Honest Day Labor open each day at 5:30 a.m. Businesses in need of labor contact the organization's staff, who then dispatch the jobs and drive many of the homeless people to the workplace. Honest Day Labor then pays each worker a wage collected from the companies that requested labor. Because Honest Day Labor is a non-profit organization, any remaining money is used to cover company expenses.

The organization has distributed checks to more than 2,000 men and women who have logged more than 220,800 work hours, according to Sister Frech-Klimley. The company's actual "profits," she added, are realized when one of its workers finds full-time work and housing. Over 150 Honest Day Labor workers have been placed in permanent jobs. Some have enjoyed promotions and have become advocates for the homeless themselves.

Working next to her husband, Sister Frech-Klimley sees the spirit of the gospel and King Benjamin's counsel in helping others help themselves. Caring for one another is a shared responsibility and blessing, she said.

"Everybody has been given a (puzzle) piece, and if they don't get out and use it we miss the opportunity to put the puzzle together."