Our shelter renovation has begun! Plans for the shelter renovation have been finalized and permits obtained. Construction began on September 7, 2017. Our House will demolish the existing shared bathrooms and replace them with private bathrooms in 14 of the 18 residential units. The four rooms that will not have private bathrooms will be short-term stay rooms – families will be able to move into other rooms when they become available. Two shared bathrooms will remain, for use by residents in the four short-term rooms. Renovations will take place in phases in order to minimize disruption to services provided. The renovation will take an estimated six months to complete, and we do not anticipate that the project will cause a significant reduction in our service level.
Our House established a board committee to guide the renovation project, which includes professionals in the construction industry. We also engaged award-winning construction management firm Silverman Construction, which has recently won a number of accolades for their involvement in the Ponce City Market project. In addition to our recent classroom renovations in Atlanta, Silverman managed Our House’s renovation project that added a new wing to our Decatur location, which was completed in 2009. Silverman Construction has a unique perspective on the needs of our clients and on our needs as a nonprofit partner.
The trauma of homelessness causes negative social, emotional, and health consequences to adults and children. By adding private bathrooms and restoring a sense of privacy, dignity, and normalcy to the lives of the families we serve, we expect better physical and mental health outcomes as families work through the traumatic experience of homelessness, and an easier transition to mainstream housing. We are pleased to further align our program with best practices in human service delivery in order to provide the best experience possible for the families in our care. The construction supervisor is currently estimating that the first phase will be done in December with the second phase wrapping up in February.