The LaPorte County nonprofit that provides temporary emergency shelter services to homeless men and women is one step closer to a home of its own.
Interfaith Community Public Action to Deliver Shelter has been granted $39,000 from the Arconic Foundation as the team continues its fund-raising campaign to renovate the Sacred Heart Church on West 8th Street. The building was gifted to Interfaith Community PADS by the Diocese of Gary and requires about $300,000 in upgrades and updates to serve as a permanent place to help the homeless.
“We are a very small organization and just became a 501 (c) (3) organization in 2017, so a grant of this size shows us that the Arconic team believes in us,” said Harry Holtkamp, ICPADS director. “Taking on this project is a huge endeavor for us and Arconic Foundation’s assistance is vital as we work toward our fund-raising goal.”
Arconic Foundation partners with nonprofits in the areas where it has roots in order to drive positive impact in these communities. Arconic is the parent company of LaPorte County-based Howmet, which has been in the area for more than 50 years. The company is a global manufacturer of aerospace industry components.
“While permanent housing, often coupled with supportive services, is the best way to end homelessness, many individuals and families need stabilization before they can find housing that will meet their long-term needs,” said Tera Grinnell, Arconic HR director. “Arconic and Arconic Foundation are honored to support the Sacred Heart renovation, which provides the opportunity for ICPADS to create a permanent shelter for those struggling with homelessness.
“Statistics indicate that a permanent shelter can increase the rate at which people can exit from homelessness. The ability to re-focus energy from finding food and shelter to finding employment or other needed resources is a significant shift in helping to transition out of homelessness.”
The needed renovations include new sewer lines, rerunning of water lines and building of a ramp as well as the addition of new bathrooms, fire suppression systems and a warming kitchen. The building is also in need of overall remodeling to create separate shelters for men on the upper level and women or women with children on the lower level.
“Some of our projects are to bring the building up to code as overnight accommodations. Our dream is to have the building operational by the second quarter of 2020,” Holtkamp said. “We see this as a wonderful investment in a building that is over 100 years old and we hope it lasts for another 100 years.”
Holtkamp said having one spot for ICPADS’ services will allow the nonprofit to better offer assistance to needed individuals while streamlining the process for volunteers. Currently, the organization partners with churches to provide shelter, food and other services, which means moving around many times a week.
“Our new building is on a bus route and close to other agencies that we work with to help homeless individuals head in a new direction,” Holtkamp said. “We hear a lot that those in need went to the wrong place.”
The connection to Sacred Heart Church will continue as well, Holtkamp said.
“The food pantry that has been in operation in the basement of Sacred Heart since 1970 will continue,” Holtkamp said. “During our off hours, the pantry will still serve community members on Wednesdays and we are honored to help this needed service carry on.”
Donations can be made through the nonprofit’s website at www.interfaithcommunitypads.in, through the GoFundMe link at gofundme.com/f/permanent-emergency-shelter or by mailing a check to PO Box 38, Michigan City, IN 46361. Donations from individuals, businesses or organizations are welcome.
Interfaith Community PADS serves LaPorte County’s homeless as a source for shelter, food and connections to move toward a new path. The nonprofit is a temporary haven for homeless men and women, including women with children. The organization is currently working toward renovating a donated former church to turn into a permanent home through its fund-raising efforts.
For more information, visit www.interfaithcommunitypads.in.