PARKERSBURG - The new Latrobe Street Mission, operated by the Not For Sale Ministries, will open in December.
The mission at 1825 Latrobe St. is 15,000 square feet in the former Storck Bakery. The two-story mission will provide emergency shelter for men, women and children, kitchen, dining room facilities, showers and restrooms, longer term transitional housing of 12-18 months and a thrift shop.
Residents will be able to take advantage of nearby Courage to Change Ministries, which includes a variety of counseling and support groups.
Photo by Pamela Brust
Mike Trejo was among the crew working on the Latrobe Street Mission this week. The mission is scheduled to open in December.
"The initial phase of the project is conversion of the first floor, which will provide sleeping quarters for women and children and a separate area for men," said Shad Martin, chairman of the board for the nonprofit Not For Sale Ministry. "There will be a dining area, and a full-size industrial-style kitchen. Ultimately, one of our goals is to have the kitchen open during the summer to provide free meals for children in the community who are in the free lunch program during the school year. Those living here would serve the meals and also work in the thrift shop, which will be housed here also."
Martin said the mission will serve those in need, in between jobs, needing a helping hand to get a fresh start in life.
"We hope to hold as many as 90, but ultimately capacity will be determined by the fire marshal," Martin said. The idea is to have the mission become self-sufficient, funded with the aid of the in-house thrift store.
For More Information
For more information on the Not For Sale Ministries go to its website at www.nfsministries.org.
For information on how to help with the Latrobe Street Mission project, contact associate director Brenda Ridgeway at 304-893-9460 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many volunteers have contributed their time and materials to make the project a reality. Many area churches, of all denominations, have provided help. The nonprofit group has received grant funding through the McDonough Foundation, Sisters of St. Joseph Charitable Fund and Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, and a number of local businesses have contributed as well. To date more than $125,000 in volunteer time, services and monetary contributions have been raised, said Brenda Ridgeway, associate director for the shelter.
Martin said the upstairs portion of the shelter, which will be phase II of the project, will house efficiency-style transitional apartments.
"This will be 12-18 months; the tenants here will be working, going back to school, trying to get their lives back together and get back on their feet," Martin said. "Case managers will be working with them."
Martin said it is hoped the mission can become self-funded within two years through revenues raised by the Twice as Good Thrift Shop. In addition to offering clothing, small appliances and some furnishings in the store, Martin said the mission has made arrangements to have any unsaleable clothing donated recycled with the proceeds benefiting the mission.
"We are researching other shelters and their programs to see how they operate and taking their successes as examples to use here," he said. "Fundraising is an ongoing need. We are looking for more partners, businesses, churches, groups, individuals who want to get involved," Martin said. "It takes about $12 a day to provide housing, care and case management services for each person."
Martin said he decided he needed to lead by example and has donated his 2006 Softail Deluxe Harley Davidson motorcycle to the cause. The bike will be offered for auction on eBay through S&P Harley Davidson in Williamstown beginning Saturday to Nov. 27. The motorcycle will be on display at the shop.