Shelter for homeless families with kids to open in Linn Co.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A shelter that will help homeless parents and their children is complete in Linn County. Family Promise of Linn County is behind the shelter which was constructed in the basement of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids.
“It was a change from the ground up,” Nic Hartmann explained, Executive Director at Family Promise of Linn County.
The nonprofit reports more than 900 school-aged children are considered homeless, just in the Cedar Rapids metro, and the reasons aren’t always what people think.
”In reality, they’re people who are working. They’re people who have gone through a lot of the same things as people down the street,” Hartmann said.
Family Promise of Linn County helped more than 200 families in hardship or at risk of homelessness last year alone, which spanned 6 counties and is up 186% from the year prior.
”That’s really astounding and it really makes you think, there’s a lot of need. And we’re so grateful and so lucky to have organizations such a Family Promise looking out for these families,” Marion Mayor Nick AbouAssaly said.
”It really just underscores the idea that homelessness doesn’t have city limits. This is a Linn County project,” Cedar Rapids Mayor Tiffany O’Donnell added.
What was a construction site last fall, is now a shower room and more. There’s space for laundry, and a kitchen for families to access necessities in one place.
“This is a dream come true, I mean it’s been two years in the making,” said Ritva Williams, Pastor at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church.
Between two rooms inside the church and a home next door, three families will be able to have shelter at once.
”The idea that we are a home for the homeless is just, it’s a piece of beautiful mission, it’s what Jesus called us to do,” Pastor Williams said.
The space will begin welcoming families in April, who will have access to case management services to help them get on their feet during their stay.
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