A fundraising campaign for an expansion of Mount Airy’s lone homeless shelter is closing in on a $2 million goal, with officials making a push to get it past that mark before the end of 2020.
As of earlier this week, the “Restoring Hope, Rebuilding Lives” campaign had reached $1.7 million, only $300,000 short of its goal.
Shepherd’s House officials celebrated that milestone during a Facebook Live event by raising a bar on a campaign “thermometer” located at the expansion site which charts the fundraising progress.
They also dedicated all money contributed to the nonprofit entity on Giving Tuesday to the “Restoring Hope, Rebuilding Lives” capital campaign. Giving Tuesday, coming on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is a global effort encouraging people to donate to charitable causes making a difference in communities.
The Shepherd’s House fundraising campaign began several months ago to support the expansion project that includes building a new and larger facility along Spring Street to the rear of the existing shelter at 227 Rockford St. It will provide temporary emergency housing to 48 individuals, compared to 18 at the present location.
Last year, The Shepherd’s House had to turn away 80% of those seeking assistance due to space limitations.
Included in the $2 million campaign is $1.7 million for the construction, which began in August, $200,000 for furnishings and $100,000 for campaign and promotional support, according to information from Shepherd’s House officials.
The new facility will be 11,200 square feet and include classrooms, laundry areas on each floor, offices for staff, a large kitchen and dining area and a commons area.
“Homelessness in Mount Airy and surrounding counties has been a significant issue for our community for years, and it’s getting worse,” Shepherd’s House Executive Director Mary Boyles said in a statement.
“The Shepherd’s House is the only homeless shelter in a four-county area, and we desperately need to increase our capacity to serve,” Boyles added regarding the motivation for expanding the operation founded in 2003.
“More than 95% of those who leave The Shepherd’s House return to the local workforce with the skills they need to become valued members of our community — I believe that a 95% track record of success means The Shepherd’s House is something that we all should invest in,” Boyles stated.
The Shepherd’s House is responding to the challenge of homelessness — primarily in Surry, Stokes, Yadkin and Alleghany counties — by directly serving more than 250 individuals annually, officials say.
Getting over the top
“The Mount Airy community and surrounding areas have been so wonderfully generous toward our capital campaign,” Boyles’ statement reads.
“We are eternally grateful for the support.”
Pointing out that the community is nearing the goal of raising $2 million to improve the homeless infrastructure, the executive director is confident this can be achieved by the end of the year.
“My family has contributed to the capital campaign, and I challenge everyone to dig deep into your hearts and pockets this holiday season to help us reach our goal.”
Boyles says now is the time to act in aiding the capital campaign, reminding that the State Employees Credit Union has committed a challenge gift to encourage $300,000 in new contributions and pledges by Dec. 31.
With 2020 posing special issues for fundraising endeavors, the effort could last a little longer, according to Traci Haynes George, the incoming chairman of the governing board for The Shepherd’s House.
“We would like to finish by the end of the year,” George said Thursday. “However, we will continue into next year as needed.”
More information about The Shepherd’s House and the “Restoring Hope, Rebuilding Lives” capital campaign, including the ability to contribute online, is available at expansion.shepherdshousema.org
Campaign contributions also can be mailed to The Shepherd’s House, 227 Rockford St., Mount Airy, NC, 27030.