It’s the season of thanksgiving, and Michael Woods, CEO and President of Western Carolina Rescue Ministries, has much to be thankful for.
On Tuesday, Woods, along with staff from the Cleveland Rescue Mission, was finally able to show off the upgrades to the mission’s women’s shelter – as well as give a first glimpse of a new men’s shelter, is scheduled to open in December.
“I’m so excited and delighted with what’s going on,” said Woods.
The newly renovated women’s shelter includes an overnight shelter for up to 25 women. Located on the ground floor of the building, the refuge has several bunk bed rooms. Down the hall is a laundry room, living room and kitchen area, used primarily by women enrolled in the “Abba’s Love” rescue mission program.
Spanning six months, Abba’s Love offers women and their children a place to stay while the women get education and skills training.
Women in the program stay on the second floor of the refuge in renovated rooms with multiple bunk beds and bathrooms.
“I am very impressed and very happy,” said Francis Webber, executive director of the Washington Outreach Ministry, which has partnered with Cleveland Rescue Mission in the past. “It’s very clean, and I hope it can stay that way. When people live and come out of there, it’s going to be very important, especially now.”
Steps from the women’s shelter, Darian Small, the rescue mission’s director of operations, was giving a tour of the newly renovated men’s shelter on Julius Street.
“I think it’s going to do an incredible good. It will definitely help every man who decides he wants to improve and participate in the programs that we have,” Small said.
The main objective of this shelter is to host a month-long education and vocational training program to help homeless men find meaningful employment and lift themselves out of poverty. Men enrolled in the program will live in the new shelter, now equipped with working showers, classrooms and a small kitchen.
The program can accommodate 25 men at a time.
In addition, the men’s shelter will have an emergency shelter with 25 beds for men looking for a place to stay overnight.
Woods said he wanted to open the men’s emergency shelter in early December and start the recovery program early next year.
“What is holding me back is the staff and the funding. I have to find people who can work there and I have to be able to pay them,” he said.
Combined, the two shelters will help Cleveland Rescue Mission in one of its primary purposes – to do the most good for those in need.
“We have the opportunity to be transformative in this community and throughout the region. I am looking at this in an organization in two places. With our recovery services in Asheville, we can take and place men and women in need of residential recovery. We can train people here, work with employers and do the most good, ”he said.
Woods added, “These programs should benefit those in this area, and we’re going to be very stingy about it. I use the word miser because this community will support this, and every penny raised in this area stays here. is important to me. We want to help people stabilize themselves and get out of poverty. “
Dustin George can be reached at 704-669-3337 or [email protected]
This article originally appeared on The Shelby Star: Refurbished shelters for homeless men and women in Shelby