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Crews start moving furniture into new homeless shelter

SALISBURY — The new homeless shelter is bustling with activity this week as moving crews, construction workers and inspectors handle finals details before the Rowan Helping Ministries facility opens next month.

Crews from Contemporary Galleries, which has a warehouse in Salisbury, descended on the shelter Monday to start the process of moving, assembling and installing furniture for the new 20,000-square-foot building on North Long Street. Workers with Matthews Construction in Charlotte and various subcontractors tested the ventilation system and continued building the parking lot using pervious pavers that will absorb rainwater and help decrease runoff.

Architect Bill Burgin and general contractor Tom Harrison were on site and said they were pleased with the progress. Pat Crickard and his crew from Contemporary Galleries unloaded four truckloads of furniture, including 85 beds.

Executive Director Kyna Grubb and her employees have watched the progress of the new homeless shelter and Jeannie’s Kitchen from their offices in the original facility across the street, which will remain in use for administration and other services. Grubb said her staff is all smiles.

For the first time, the new facility will include classroom space.

“We can begin to expand our programs to educate and empower people to break the cycle of crisis, so they can move on to stable housing and move out of homelessness,” Grubb said.

The new shelter will have beds for 85 people with the capacity to house 126, although Grubb said she hopes their numbers will not grow. The facility also includes dayrooms and space for people to use during inclement weather. Families with children will have their own area, and kids have a place to do homework. A school bus has stopped at the homeless shelter every school day since 2010.

“Space is the biggest feature that we are looking forward to having,” Grubb said.

The public will have the chance to tour the new facility May 18 before homeless guests move in the following day.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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