The hopes and dreams of an alliance of some 35 local churches will become a reality Monday in Leavenworth.
That’s when a grand opening ceremony will be held at the recently constructed facility for the Interfaith Community of Hope.
Opening ceremonies will begin at 6 p.m. with an interfaith blessing of the building, followed by tours of the 6,000-square foot facility, located at the corner of Third and Kiowa streets.
The event is free and open to the public.
Final construction work was being completed this week.
“It’s going to be a work in progress for awhile,” said George Raach, spokesman for the Interfaith Community of Hope.
Raach said the plan is still in place for people to stay in the new facility Monday night.
The Interfaith Community of Home facility will house Welcome Central, a day shelter and the Shelter of Hope under one roof.
The opening ceremony will be the culmination of 18 months of planning, preparation and construction of the new facility that helps low-income and disadvantage residents of the area.
More than $700,000 in cash and in-kind support was raised by community volunteers, churches and businesses.
“It was truly inspirational to see how members of our community worked together to make our new center a reality,” said Sister Vickie Perkins in a press release.
Perkins is the director of the Interfaith Community of Hope.
“The new building will allow us to more efficiently and effectively serve our community’s need,” Perkins said.
Welcome Central helps clients gain access to benefits and medical care. It also provides job training programs and transportation for people to get to appointments.
Since opening in 2014, Welcome Central has assisted more than 3,000 local residents.
The day shelter provides a place for people to go during inclement weather.
The Shelter of Hope offers safe accommodations for the homeless.
The new shelter has room for approximately 30 beds. On average, approximately 20 people stay at the shelter on North Fifth Street each night.
One of those people is Eric Campbell.
Campbell said he has been staying at the shelter off and on for about three years. He volunteers several hours each week working to build the new shelter.
“It gives me something to do rather than walking around,” Campbell said.
He is one of several people who stay at the shelter who volunteer at the new facility.
Raach said Perkins often asks people who stay at the shelter to help with various projects.
“Sister Vickie doesn’t want free lunches,” Raach said. “She insists that this is a temporary shelter to get them ready to be independent members of the community.”
Perkins will attend the grand opening of the new facility and be available to answer questions from the public.
“We look at our mission as providing those who are disadvantaged with the help they need to become productive citizens,” Perkins said. “We are building a future of hope for our clients.”