Former Iowa church to be renovated into homeless shelter

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FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - A former church northeast of Fort Dodge is transforming into a homeless shelter for women and children who need help.

The Messenger reports that the former St. John's Lutheran Church in rural Webster County will become the home of the Lotus Community Project.

Iowa District West, a part of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, has donated the property. The district took control of the church after it closed last year.

Lotus Executive Director Ashley Vaala says there will likely be $105,000 in renovations before the shelter can open in December.

Vaala says there will potentially be eight rooms available to provide temporary living space to women in Webster, Hamilton, Humboldt, Wright, Calhoun and Pocahontas counties.