- Associated Press - Saturday, October 29, 2016

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) - A homeless shelter in St. Cloud is preparing to open a space for mothers and children with no place to go.

The St. Cloud Times (https://on.sctimes.com/2e5d19C) reports the remodeled second floor of the Place of Hope Ministries’ transitional housing shelter is expected to open Dec. 4.

The idea for the project goes back 16 years, when the Rev. Carol Smith and her husband discovered a woman and her children on their doorstep on a night that was 10 degrees below zero.

“Up until that time I had been in meetings with people (from around the community) saying somebody needs to do something about (homelessness),” she said. “Well, I said to myself, that I’m that somebody.”

That memory has stayed with Smith as she heads the project, which will include 14 rooms, a living room area and a play room for kids. Smith says the project has been in the works for a year and estimates the shelter has spent at least $15,000 on it.

While Smith has one part-time staffer working on remodeling the second floor, a majority of the work has been done by community volunteers and organizations like St. Cloud Rotary Club, St. Cloud Federal Credit Union and Atonement Lutheran Church.

Families hoping for a spot in the shelter will have to meet certain criteria. Smith said the number one focus is given to those experiencing homelessness, but a vulnerability assessment also is used to determine the needs for some families.

Smith said the main goal of will be to help women get back on their feet and to provide the children with some stability.

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Information from: St. Cloud Times, https://www.sctimes.com


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