After over two years of hard work and lessons learned, we have begun remodeling the Salvation Army Building on State St. to create a new shelter home. This new shelter will support our neighbors who are without a home, including families with children, senior citizens, and the medically fragile.
INTERFAITH SANCTUARY ON THE MOVE
Interfaith Sanctuary’s current permanent home is a 10,000 sq. ft. shelter on River St., where we have been very creative in how we deliver programming. Every day, we set up and tear down spaces to provide programming by day and sleeping spaces by night. In addition, our recovery programming and commercial kitchen are both located in trailers.
When the pandemic hit, we moved families with children and medically fragile guests to a hotel, which was funded through COVID Emergency Funds. With this added site, we are now able to serve an additional 100 guests per night.
However, we immediately began thinking about what would happen once the funding ran out. Our emergency shelter could not house an additional 100 guests, and unhousing families with children, seniors, and the medically fragile was not an option.
So we began looking for a new building that would be bigger and safer and have better access to services and transportation. We found that home in a building on State St. that was formerly the Salvation Army thrift shop, warehouse, food pantry, and family service provider. The two buildings are approximately 30,000 sq. feet and sit on just under two acres.
ALL OUR HOPES AND DREAMS UNDER ONE ROOF!
After the remodel, this new 42,500 sq. ft. shelter will allow us to keep our seniors safely housed, provide a safer setting for our families with children, and create more meaningful space for all of our guests. This new building will also allow Interfaith Sanctuary to grow and improve the way we serve guests by bringing case management, medical support, and learning spaces all under one roof. Additionally, all guests will have 24/7 access to shelter.
The main building will house single men and women and will include a medical dorm; hospice rooms; an exam room and nursing station supported through a partnership with Terry Reilly Health Services and Full Circle Health; sleeping pods with storage for returning guests; emergency beds for urgent night-by-night need; classrooms dedicated to recovery, mental health, art therapy, and job training; a full service commercial kitchen with a sit-down dining area; a day shelter with a computer library; an outdoor park and recreation area; laundry facilities; a mail room; and a de-escalation room.
An adjacent 2-story building will house our family housing program, including beds for up to 100 family members, family privacy suites, a full-time preschool classroom, a family dining area, a teen computer and activity room, laundry facilities, and case management offices.
A third building will be home to our single guests who are financially self-sustaining with savings and are actively working on finding housing.
One outdoor area will be for single men and women and will include lockers; bike storage; a landscaped park with benches, trees and a Zen garden; a community garden; and an outside dining space.
A family outdoor space will include a children’s playground, an outdoor dining area, green space, a family community garden, and stroller and bike storage.