FLINT (WJRT) (10/27/17) - A place in Flint for the poor and homeless to get a helping hand has a grand re-opening.
Catholic Charities has transformed a worn-out building.
They showed off the improvements made at the Old St. Michael's School on Fifth Avenue. Those who are down on their luck can get a lot of services at one location.
Back in March, Catholic Charities decided it would be best to reduce the size of their building to cut down on operating costs. So 30,000 square feet was demolished.
The remaining portion was renamed the Sister Claudia Burke Center for Hope. Bishop Earl Boyea of the Lansing Diocese was there to bless it.
"We all realize we have a role in caring for the poor and needy," said Boyea.
Some $5.5 million was raised for the remodeling project. After the sprinkling of holy water and the ribbon cutting, supporters got to see the improvements.
"On the main floor we'll have our community closet. They can get any kind of clothing, household items, personal need items. We also put in showers for men and women. We also have a free laundry facility," said Vicky Schultz, Catholic Charities president and CEO.
There's a soup kitchen and on Dec. 1 the warming center will be open. The Hamilton Community Health Network will operate a mini-clinic there.
"It's basically serving the poor and vulnerable community, bringing them through the doors, treating them with the utmost respect, helping them find some very basic and needed services," Schultz said.
The renovated building has two attractions now that will make life easier for all who use the building. It has an elevator and air conditioning.
"We want to serve everyone and anyone, no matter what," said Boyea.