After two seasons of operating in the basement of the Delta United Methodist Church, the volunteers and board of directors at the Abraham Connection/Delta County Homeless Shelter are ready for their own building.
"We have grown exponentially over the past two seasons of service," said board president Cheryl Oeltjenbruns.
"We have loved serving our guests while housed at the church and we're very grateful to that congregation for their hospitality, but we know that we will only continue to grow. We need our own space."
The homeless shelter is open seasonally from Nov. 1 through April 30. During the past two seasons, volunteers spent over 7,800 hours providing 679 bednights and 1,126 meals. From season one to season two, both the number of guests served and the number of bednights/meals increased three-fold, Oeltjenbruns said.
The board hopes to raise $275,000 through a combination of private donations, fundraisers and grants in order to purchase a building. This past summer, the board was able to raise about $8,000 from various fundraisers. That money was added to the building fund. The board has nearly $25,000 set aside for the building purchase. Several grants have been submitted, and the board will be notified in December if it received any of those monies.
The board of directors launched a capital building campaign on Oct. 1 to raise funds to purchase its own building. Through the "A Home of Our Own" campaign, individuals, businesses and civic organizations can buy a square foot or can sponsor a room.
One square foot is $120, and can be paid at once or spread over 12 months. Two square feet is $200. Those who buy one or two square feet will be recognized on a donor plaque, which will be hung at the new shelter.
There is also the opportunity to sponsor a room. At the $1,500 level, you can sponsor a counseling room or a computer room, which will be used for kids' homework help, to help guests search for jobs or apply for benefits.
At the $2,000 level, you can sponsor our intake/reception area, which is where guests are first screened for suitability for shelter each evening.
At the $5,000 level, you can sponsor a family room, bathroom/showers, or separate sleeping areas for families, veterans, women and men.
Lastly, for $25,000, you can sponsor a kitchen.
All room sponsorships from $1,500-$25,000 will allow the donor or donors to name the room.
"We encourage families or several groups to go in together and sponsor a room," said board member Kathi Bledsoe. "Your gift will truly make a difference in the lives of those we serve."
"All along we have said that the Abraham Connection is truly a community operation," Oeltjenbruns said. "We aren't serving a lot of transients. We serve those in our community who have fallen on hard times. We can better serve our guests, and serve more guests, when we have our own space. And to do that, we again ask for the community's help."
The "A Home of Our Own" campaign will run through the end of October. All donations are tax-deductible.
The board has put out a flier detailing the campaign. Pick one up in Delta County businesses, or call the shelter phone at 773-8290 for a brochure to be mailed or e-mailed to you. Please also call that number for any questions, or to volunteer in the shelter.
"We thank you in advance for your help," Bledsoe added. "This community is making a difference in so many lives."blog comments powered by Disqus