Officials: Rowan Helping Ministries Shelter expansion 13 months away from completion

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 7, 2013

If you drove past North Long Street recently then you noticed the grading taking place at the Rowan Helping Ministries Shelter site, which is on schedule despite rain, said Chris Bradshaw, who is overseeing the expansion.
The new 30,000-square-foot shelter will be in the 200 block of North Long Street, across from the existing building at 226 N. Long St. Bradshaw is a contractor/developer, but he is working on the project in a volunteer capacity. He is chairman of the Shelter Ministries.
The Shelter Ministries is a nonprofit that owns all of the Rowan Helping Ministries properties. Bradshaw also sits on the Rowan Helping Ministries board and is a part of the facilities committee.
“We are on schedule,” he said. “The rain held us up a little bit.”
The work is 13 months away from being completed, Bradshaw said.
“Everyone seems to be excited about what’s going on, including the guests,” he said.
Crews will soon put in stormwater drainage. Bradshaw said driveways and curbing will be started soon.
“The grading is nearly complete, which is a big step,” Bradshaw said.
The new shelter will accommodate 60 men, 40 women and four families. The new soup kitchen will seat 126 guests.
The overnight shelter was originally designed to hold 40 men but now shelters between 55 to 75 men, women and children every night. The soup kitchen, designed to serve 60 people, regularly feeds as many as 180 daily.
Sheltered families will have space during the day to avoid the elements and meet with area agency representatives. Participants in New Tomorrows and Journey Forward, daytime programs for shelter guests, will have a space for educational programs and life coaching.