In Nov. 22 IssueRussell County News
It has been over a year getting the project off the ground, and now that it is the work is just beginning.
Pastor Tony Stephens said that thanks to a lot of hard work by a lot of people the emergency shelter is nearly completed and should be ready to open by the first of the year.
The Russell County Ministerial Association is the force behind the project, now they are looking to add individual churches into the mix.
Stephens explained that the group saw a many fold need for a small place for house fire victims and stranded travelers to stay for short periods and the old model of renting hotel rooms for those in need was not proving to be the best solution.
So the association gathered the funds and built a two-room cabin that will somewhat-comfortably fit four people. The final interior touches like trim, flooring and cabinets are going in soon.
"Hopefully it will be ready in about two weeks," Stephens said.
In preparation for that, he said the association is preparing a meeting to present to all of the local churches the idea that they take turns overseeing the care of the building.
"It will need to be cleaned after it is used every time," Stephens explained.
With all the churches pulling together the work will fall less often on any one church.
In addition to housing local people who have suffered a home fire, or for other reasons can't go home, the facility will allow an overnight stay for transient families.
It is housing them that was one of the biggest motivators for building the cabin.
"There are people who travel the country living off the generosity of communities," Stephens explained.
Affording such travelers a free hotel room was not a good option both in the cost to the association and in ware and tear on the hotel rooms they stayed in.
For that reason a rather Spartan, and very sturdy accommodation was constructed.
"When those kinds of people realize they aren't going to get color television and a pool if they stop here they may just pass us by," Stephens said.
The cabin is a warm, or cool depending on the season, place with the creature comforts like a full bathroom, a small kitchenette, and even real red cedar wainscoting.
Stephens said anyone in need will be able to access the facility through either the local police agencies or the Ministerial Association and that way it will be available to fill any need any time of the day or night.
For those who want to know how they can help complete the project, or pitch in once it is operation Tony Stephens can be reached through the Jamestown Church of Christ, 270-343-4507.