Expansion complete at Willis Dady Homeless Shelter, more programming available

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The largest homeless shelter operating in Cedar Rapids just got much bigger.

After nearly two years of construction, the Willis Dady Homeless Shelter opened its expanded area on Monday. The shelter, located along Fourth Avenue Southeast in Cedar Rapids, looks much different: there is about 50 percent more space now, and that includes room for more people and more programming.

The renovation includes handicap accessible rooms. There is also a new space for people who work overnight shifts, so they can sleep during the day.

This entire project is called "Building From Shelter to Stability."

Staff at the shelter will connect people staying here to resources, so they can find permanent housing or jobs.

"We also launched direct employment program," Phoebe Trepp, executive director at the shelter, said. "We have three pilots currently and we hire clients and pay 10 dollars or higher an hour so they have money in their pockets for doing a days work."

This entire project cost about $3,000,000. The shelter did a substantial fundraising campaign for years to reach that goal.