Shelter Expansion Ad Hoc Committee finds realistic solutions to sheltering homeless families
So far, we have talked a lot about the great need for an expanded and updated homeless shelter for families in the Des Moines area, but what will the finished shelter all entail?
Well, almost a year ago now, an Ad Hoc Committee at Catholic Charities was formed to start visioning what the expanded shelter would include. The talented and committed group of people include:
Tom Moreland, CEO of St. Jude Enterprises and major donor for the project
Doug Sharp, Architect & Chairman of the Board at BSB Design
Marty Walsh, Chairperson for Catholic Charities Board of Directors
Gerry Neugent, President and Chief Operating Officer of Knapp Properties
Nancy Anstoetter, Vice-Chairperson for Catholic Charities Board of Directors
Paul Rupprecht, Secretary for Catholic Charities Board of Directors
Dan Buscher, Catholic Charities Board Member
Jerry Spaeth, Catholic Charities Board Member
Norm Bormann, Diocese of Des Moines Building Manager
Nancy Galeazzi, Executive Director of Catholic Charities
Patrick Nestvedt, Associate Director of Catholic Charities
What has come from this amazing group of people was more than anyone could have imagined. The shelter is going from five bedrooms to ten, including a handicapped accessible room with a full handicapped accessible bathroom. The kitchen is being expanded and will include energy efficient appliances and the dining room is also being expanded to accommodate all of the guests who come together every evening to eat dinner (prepared by volunteers).
A playroom addition has also been added, a much needed space considering the fact that 58% of the people who stay at the shelter are 13 or younger.
A small parking area and play area has also been included in the plan and the existing garage (that has been used for years to store donated furniture for families to use when moving into new homes) will stay in place so we can continue to offer those items to families.
The Ad Hoc Committee have worked extremely hard and taken a realistic look at what it truly takes to provide for multiple families living in crisis situations. If you know or see any of the amazing people who are working on this project, please thank them for their dedication to creating quality shelter care and services to families in need.
During the month of August, Catholic Charities’ staff and committee members are "Blogging the Build". Follow our blog for updates on the expansion of St. Joseph Emergency Family Shelter.