A new initiative aims to build a new shelter for the homeless in Tullahoma.
Tina Holman Owen, director of Shepherd’s House, said the planned new facility would house women and children and provide rooms for 30 to 40 residents. And, according to Owen, there is a need.
“We get 40 to 50 calls a month during our busiest times,” she said. But the current shelter can accommodate only 10 to 12 residents. The hope, then, is to at least triple occupancy.
“We know we want something bigger than what we have now,” Owen said. “We want to be able to have rooms for classrooms. And we are looking toward having a room for arts, crafts and different activities, where we can actually have people come in and learn how to do crafts. We want to teach the residents more skills.”
“We also want to have a couple of rooms for volunteers,” she said, noting that would allow those monitoring the house to have their own space. “We also have to make sure we have a big enough kitchen and enough bathrooms.”
The land for the project has already been donated. Now, volunteers with the nonprofit are focusing their efforts to raise funds for the initiative through their Strive4five campaign.
“If we just get the members of the churches in Tullahoma to give $5 a person, that will be about $380,000 for the women’s shelter,” Owen said. “Of course, it will be even more if everyone could do that. We are striving for $5 at a time to help get the money for the women’s shelter. We will always take more.”
All proceeds will go toward constructing the new building, said Owen.
“It’s all going toward the women’s shelter,” she said. “We are currently taking the steps to make sure everything is done right, and we will be letting the public know more as we get the details worked out.”
Once the new building is completed, the old facility will become a shelter exclusively for men.
Shepherd’s House has served homeless individuals in Tullahoma since 1999.
The mission of the shelter is to provide an environment of hope and, Owen said, to help those who have found themselves in a tough situation “to once again take care of themselves.”
Elena Cawley may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.