• Bill Raines

Men's Warming Shelter Renovations Continue - Opening on Schedule for November 1st

BEDFORD - SEPTEMBER 10, 2022 - The Men's Warming Shelter Renovations located at 1414 H Street is making great progress with an opening date of November 1, 2022.




Heather Flynn took the Lawrence County Zephyr on a tour of the facilities Friday afternoon.


" We are so excited to get this building, it perfectly fits our purpose as it is only one floor. This makes it wonderful for people who have mobility issues, building has lots of space, and the community around us has welcomed us here," said Heather Flynn, director of Bedford Men's Warming Center.


The building was a 3/4 empty warehouse and the building had old, rust walls, old concrete flooring, and ceiling that was falling in. The Men's Warming Shelter was allowed to operate one year but was not suitable for people to live at the location for long-term.


The facility did not have a laundry room, kitchen and bathrooms that were ADA compliant. The project started with some basic systems, such as plumbing, HVAC, upgraded electrical systems, new water main, and put-up walls to section off the living area of the building.



The new dorm area at the Men's Warming Shelter


Each of the doorways is wheelchair accessible, there are no stairs for anyone to have to navigate. There will be a lounge area, and industrial size washer and dryer, and there will also be a place for them to do their own laundry.


The location will also have two office areas, and the work has come along very well over the last several weeks.



According to Flynn, the contractors have done a great job, with Benny Grimes, T & G Contractors, companies have been giving such as Kirby Risk, Bender Lumber, and many people who have done work to make the facility look nicer. The next project is to have epoxy placed on the concrete floors.


The Engineering firm with Chuck Jones, JKI Engineering has help the group layout the plans for the facility. " He has helped us every step of the way and answered all of our questions," in speaking about Chuck Jones of JKI Engineering.


A completion date for the renovation has not been established at this time, however the opening day for the facility is November 1, 2022. There have not been any major delays in the project and will be ready for the winter opening date.


Donations are still needed for the Men's Warming Shelter, but churches and community donations have helped in many different ways. The community and businesses have donated needed items, including furniture, paper supplies and food.



But the need financial contributions to carry on with mortgage and building materials are expensive. " We had to purchase materials that was able to get the building up to code. The project itself is estimated at $515,000. When we look at this, we do not look at this as just a building. We think of it as rebuilding lives," said Flynn.


Last year, there were a total of 80 men who stayed at the shelter, 40 of those being transient who just passed by and needed a place to stay. However, forty of the men, were regulars and of those 30 are now on their own. And the group was able to get four of the transients housed.


Chuck Jones JKI Engineering talks about the renovations


The Men's Warming Shelter mission is not just to provide homeless a place to stay but address the issues they are having and turn them into productive adults again. Some of the men just fell on hard times and trying to pick up their lives after going through challenges of divorce, family separations and other issues that caused them to end up on the streets.


" This is not just a place to keep them warm in the winter, way for them to get a home in the future," said Flynn. " I amazed by the clientele we get in here, as our guests. These men are smart, handworker's and talented," added Flynn.


" The causes range of drug addiction, family issues, generation trauma, loss of a job, we had two older gentlemen who came last year, they had plenty of money. These men going through a divorce, waiting for the divorce to be finalized and waiting on the mortgage to purchase a home. It was so expensive staying in a motel every night. They wanted to give the Men's Warming Shelter a try, and they liked it at the shelter,"


Several agencies partner with the Men's Warming Shelter, with the shelter trying to meet the needs of the individual to address their mental health needs. The shelter tries to get them into see a local physician with some not having a physical for a long time. Then, working towards addressing the client's mental health needs.


Stigma with homeless men still exists and it affects their mental well-being when they become homeless. The Men's Warming Shelter work with local employers and try to get them jobs. A Mentor program is also implemented to help with job building and job skills.


The next step will be trying to address the housing needs, of the client.


Those with drug addictions are not turned way, and with the Men's Warming Center working with local Mental Health providers in addressing their addiction issues.


The Spaghetti on Square will benefit the Men's Warming Shelter.



For breaking news, news and information, subscribe to lczephyr.org or follow us on Facebook.


ADVERTISEMENT








199 views0 comments