by Carol Hopkins, The Oakland Press
The doors opened recently for a sneak peek in a new facility designed to help homeless women and children move into safe, transitional living quarters.
Grace Centers of Hope will officially welcome residents to its William A. Davis Women and Children’s Center located at 210 N. Perry Street in Pontiac this coming May.
“The number of homeless women and children in southeast Michigan is staggering,” said Pastor Kent Clark, CEO of Grace Centers of Hope.
“In 2015, we unfortunately were forced to turn away more than 8,500 women and children due to lack of space.
“Many of the women that we help are escaping domestic violence or are living on the streets with an addiction and their children at their side. This summer, we will be thrilled to help more individuals begin their journey to lead more productive, stable lives.”
The 22,000-square-foot center will feature 104 transitional beds in semi-private rooms, restrooms, laundry facilities, and a family room with play areas for children.
According to the National Coalition Against Homelessness, women and children make up the fastest growing segment of the homeless population nationwide. At Grace Centers, an average of 23 calls are received every day from women who need help, but have to be put on a waiting list due to a shortage of available space.
Grace Centers –– which launched its $5.8 million capital campaign in 2014 for the new center –– currently has raised $3.9 million of its fundraising goal.
Plans also include an exercise area, library and quiet space, classrooms, dining room, kitchen, and office space for staff. Grace Centers will look to hire three counselors, seven resident assistants, three full-time teachers and assistants, part-time driver, security team, and one additional kitchen staff member.
To support the new William A. Davis Women and Children’s Center, visit www.gracecentersofhope.org.
This story originally appeared here in The Oakland Press.