WE HAVE RECEIVED SOME VERY GENEROUS HELP!!!
The Healthcare Foundation of La Porte has issued us a challenge grant! They will match dollar for dollar every donation received by May 1, 2020, up to $100,000, for the renovation of Sacred Heart Church into a permanent emergency shelter !!! Please double your donation by helping fund this project now!
We have received a very generous grant of $39,000 from the Arconic Foundation! The John W. Anderson Foundation has given us a grant of $5,000.00! A private foundation has committed to a grant of $25,000.00! In addition to our go-fund-me page, we have received direct donations of $12,000 directly, at PADS, P.O. Box 38, Michigan City, IN 46361. This lowers our goal to $219,000.00!
In November, 2001, the Interfaith Community Men's Shelter, a PADS (public action delivering shelter) program, hosted its first night of shelter at the First Presbyterian Church in Michigan City. Two elders of the church, Dorothy Miller & Nancy Bracken, had put together a coalition of churches which provided nightly sites, volunteers, meals, supplies & finances to provide shelter for a growing number of men experiencing homelessness.
For 16 years, the group of volunteers provided shelter from mid-October to mid-April, rotating out of an always changing list of church sites. The Salvation Army stepped up in 2006 and continues to provide nightly shelter from Spring to Fall each year. In 2017, seeing a growing number of women experiencing homelessness, the volunteer group became Interfaith Community PADS, Inc., a 501 c 3 (ICPI). Using different nightly sites, ICPI now runs a year-round PADS program for women and the six month cold weather men's PADS program.
The population we serve are La Porte County (Indiana) residents experiencing homelessness, both men, women & women with children. In 2018, approximately 145 individual men were accommodated in the shelter sites, with a total of over 10,330 "bed-nights" occupied and 20,500 meals served. 58 individual women were served, along with 16 individual children, for a total of 2,848 "bed-nights" occupied & approximately 5,700 meals served.
The Diocese of Gary, Inc. has agreed to donate the former Sacred Heart Church building to ICPI to serve as a permanent emergency shelter site. A zoning variance was approved in September, 2018, and final plan approval was obtained from the state in April, 2019. Our licensed architect, Roger Potratz, has estimated the final cost of renovation to be roughly $300,000, provided there are no surprises.
Donations will be spent to renovate the building into a permanent shelter with separate levels for women & children (lower) and men (upper). Needed work includes: installation of restrooms (sinks, toilets, shower) on both levels, laundry, wheelchair access to both levels, sprinkler system & fire alarm system (both levels), new sewer drain line, new 4" water supply line, dumb waiter, warming kitchen and lighting & electrical system updates. Money will also be set aside to fund the increased overhead that will come with utilities & insurance. The general contractor estimates construction time to be roughly 3.5 months, not including installation of fire alarm & sprinkler systems.
A permanent shelter site will streamline all the work we do, from laundry to dishes to daily clean-up. The location is on a bus line and easily accessible. Law enforcement & emergency service operators will be sure of the location, making their jobs easier and their delivery more efficient. Most importantly, a permanent site will enable men and women experiencing homelessness to quickly find our shelter when they need it most, and then focus on their recovery instead of worrying about finding the next site. Because recovery was a big concern for Dorothy and Nancy, we plan to name the shelter after them.
We hope you see the value of the work we do. As a member of La Porte County's continuum of care, the "Home Team," we are the base of a system designed to identify those experiencing homelessness, shelter and feed them, while linking them to the resources they can use to get back into the mainstream of life.
Any donation large or small will make a difference in providing valuable services to the residents of La Porte County, Indiana, who are experiencing homelessness. Thank you for your consideration and generosity.
- Mary Dubach
- Nick and Sara Walz
- Jake Yurczyk