A blank slate and open hearts create shelters

Some people walk into a fixer-upper and know immediately how to make it shine. Monica Nilsson and the pastors from from Elim Church and Strong Tower Parish have that unique vision – multiplied.

Today we did a walk through of the spaces to assess what’s there and what needs to happen to best meet the needs of future guests.

Elim will host an evening meal for everyone. Then the plan is for Elim to host women up stairs in an old grade school gym. There are bathrooms, showers and storage space. The facilities need some TLC but there are plans to get it, to make sure everything works and add some privacy. Among other items in their closet are old, majestic theater drapes that will likely be re-purposed to become sound-absorbing tapestries.

Strong Tower will host men in their dining room. It’s a large space and so cozy warm. But like Elim, it needs some attention. But the pastor is certain they can clean it up and volunteers have offered to help.

Both locations (which are next door to each other) have community spaces with couches and places to chill. They hope to get big screen TVs and other comforts. That might be a boon to the teens that seem to use the room now!

Monday the mattresses arrive. Throughout next week generous, skilled contractors will help bring make the spaces more livable, more homey, more comfortable. And we’ll try to keep you up on what’s happening.

Published by Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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