Friday, October 20th, 2017
Area shelter planned
Volunteers needed Saturday in Celina
By Sydney Albert
CELINA - People passing by the corner of North Brandon Avenue and West Wayne Street on Saturday will likely see volunteers working to convert the old brick house there into a shelter for people in need.
They are also invited to stop in to lend a helping hand.
Serving Friends and Families Ministries, a local service center for the Salvation Army, is restoring a home that will be used to house people in need. The group needs skilled workers, supplies and money to complete the project.
"We're going to make it quality but like an older, vintage home," Pastor Rich Field said.
The ministry has long striven to help displaced families who have lost their homes due to sudden emergencies, such as fire or overwhelming medical bills. Vickie Field, a ministry director, always thought it would be wonderful if the ministry had a place to help families in those situations.
After a friend, Thomas Mallory, who was also involved in the organization, died of a brain tumor, he donated the house to the cause. Vickie Field said his last wish was for the home to be restored - so people could be restored in it.
"Restoration Home," when completed, will offer temporary refuge for displaced families, a dire need in Mercer County, Rich Field said.
"There's nothing like this in Mercer County, nothing that serves these people. When we'd help people, the closest such shelters are in Sidney or Lima," he said.
While families live in the home, the ministry would help residents find jobs and teach them the word of God, he continued.
Still, the house needs work, and the ministry needs supplies and funds to get it completed. Some work has already been slowly done over the past year. Now, skilled workers are needed to help with mechanical, wiring and electrical work. Coffee and donuts will be provided Saturday for workers in the morning and a free lunch will be available.
Rich Field estimated the group needs roughly $50,000 to finish the upstairs apartment and get the first family moved in. Monetary donations can be mailed to Pastor Rich Field at 1978 Havemann Road, No. 105, Celina. The ministry will also launch a new website in early November, where people will be able to donate via PayPal.
Any donated supplies would be greatly appreciated, Vickie Field said. Construction and lumber companies can sometimes tear out pieces of houses they don't need but that can still be used, she said. Community members with supplies to donate can call the ministry at 419-586-3767.
Rich Field mentioned that donations of supplies, time or money could be used as a tax write-off. He said the ministry is sustained only by donations and relies on its congregation - the community - for support.
Both Rich and Vickie Field hope someday many more "Restoration Homes" will be in the area to help families in need. If their ministry doesn't create them, other organizations or churches may pick up on their vision and create homes of their own, Vickie Field said.