By Colleen Lockhart
Geauga Faith Rescue Mission gathered on the doorstep of the newly purchased rescue shelter at 339 Washington St. in Chardon to provide a video tour. GFRM is opening the first transitional shelter in Geauga County to help those in the county who need safe place to stay with food, clothing, comfort and hope where they can begin to plan for their future.
The tour was led by GFRM President Nathan Long and started with several committee members gathering on the front porch for a photo. The front door opened to welcome the public for the first time. Stepping into the entry, the greeting window to the left reveals the intake and office space where visitors will register. Entry into the home will be through a secured door. To the left is the lounge room and gathering area for social time and Bible study. To the right, the wall will be removed to connect the multipurpose room and computer area. The kitchen is straight ahead where food will be warmed and served. Located to the left is the half bath that will be renovated to comply with ADA. The downstairs bedroom is ADA accessible.
Turning right takes you to the stairway that leads to the two upstairs bedrooms, one large enough for four guests and one smaller for two guests. The single bathroom upstairs will be renovated to provide multiple showers.
The basement will house a washer and dryer, laundry service, storage, clothing and supplies. Shelving will be installed and there will be a system in place to package emergency supplies. An exercise room is being planned.
GFRM has announced their first workday at the shelter from 1 to 3 p.m. on Nov. 23. The need for volunteers has grown with the purchase of the shelter. Getting the home ready will require skills in renovation, plumbing, finish carpentry, painting, interior design and general labor for inside and outside maintenance. The shelter needs to be renovated before clients can be accepted.
You can watch the video tour on GFRM Facebook. If you have specific skills to ready the home or can offer assistance of any kind, including monetary donations, complete and submit the online Get Involved form or call 440-313-8981.
Colleen Lockhart is a lifelong resident of Geauga County. She serves on the Department on Aging Executive Board, Geauga Safety Council, Middlefield Chamber of Commerce, Huntsburg Historical Society, Huntsburg Grange #2541 and is a member of Huntsburg Congregational Church.