The Clark County Homeless Coalition has closed on a building for its proposed homeless shelter, and organizers hope community members will join the effort with some donations over the next couple of weeks.
Coalition members are hosting an open house at the building on Saturday. Later on Saturday, Jan. 29, the coalition will throw a Winter Gala and Silent Auction to raise funds for renovations and long-term operation of the shelter.
“We have several different ways people can pitch in, and of course any monetary donation of any size (would help),” said Terry Davidson, coalition president. “I can not say enough. People have been very generous and supportive. It’s very heartwarming.”
Organizers purchased the 2,600-square-foot home for $153,000 this year, using a $25,000 grant from the Rowland Foundation as a down payment.
Located at 25 Wainscott Ave., the home has sleeping rooms for up to 20 people, some common areas and a basement, where volunteers hope to establish a playroom for children and a workout area. But the building requires some work before the homeless can move in.
Among the necessary renovations are a new roof, an upstairs HVAC system, plumbing and electrical upgrades, a new kitchen, bathroom renovations and exterior work. On top of that, the rooms need furniture.
Davidson said the renovations could total about $60,000 alone, but she expects volunteers will step up with labor and materials donations. She also predicts that the shelter will need about $75,000 annually for operations.
Tickets for the gala range from $50 for a single seat up to a $600 gold sponsorship, which secures a table for eight. The coalition is also offering $5,000 room sponsorships, along with lower level sponsorships for furniture and decorations.
Once complete, the shelter will take families and single individuals, focusing on a 60 to 90 day turnaround in most cases, Davidson said. Homeless people will have strict house rules to follow and job search or education requirements to fulfill.
“That’s the whole goal is self-sufficiency for everybody,” Davidson said.
A full-time director will oversee the progress of participants, and people living in the home must pass criminal background checks. Davidson hopes to open by late May or June.
According to figures provided by the coalition, Clark County ranks as the sixth highest rural county in the state for the number of homeless, and about 25 people are without homes at any time, many of whom are children.
Davidson questions how Clark County could not help the homeless.
“How do you not?” she asked. “How do you go to sleep at night in your own bed when you know there is a kid out there sleeping in a car and it’s 20 degrees? How do you not?”
The open house is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the shelter. The gala will begin at 7 p.m. at the Winchester Opera House, and tickets range from $50 for a single seat to a $600 gold sponsorship for a table of eight. Attendees are asked to wear cocktail attire.
More information on either event is available by contacting the coalition at (859) 644-7679 or by e-mailing to email@example.com.
Contact Mike Wynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.