2022 was a busy year for us at Interfaith Community PADS. In addition to the daily work of providing meals and shelter to our homeless guests, we also completed (or are working on) several important projects. If you’re curious about what we were up to in 2022, check out the list below!
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands! (Psalm 90:17)
2022 ICPADS Projects (By Season!)
The work at our homeless shelter is ongoing, and we are always tackling projects, large and small, year-round. In this blog post, we’ve divided 2022 up into winter, spring, summer, and fall to share some of the projects we worked on during each season.
1. Winter Improvements
Homelessness knows no season, so the work continues even in the cold winter months. In January, we worked on a few renovations and improvements of our homeless shelter – with help from our community, of course!
On January 8, a small team from the Leadership La Porte County 38th class came over to paint the basement. They were able to match the color used when the floor was refinished and make the design cohesive throughout the women’s shelter.
About two weeks later, Eagle Scout Troop 876 braved a snow storm as they made two outside, wrap-around benches. These benches have provided our guests with comfort throughout the year – a place to relax and (in the summer) find shade.
2. Spring Fresh-Air Projects
When spring began to show its face here in northern Indiana, we (like you!) were excited to get out in the fresh air.
One of our projects was the Nice Neighbor Program, which we kicked off on March 17. Our Director, Harrison Holtkamp explains: “Very simply, we recruit teams of guests to help pick up trash in the neighborhood. This is not elaborate but it is what neighbors do for each other.” We’ve posted about the program twice on Facebook (here and here) but we are happy to report that the Nice Neighbor program is still in effect!
Another spring project was to create a pollinator garden at our shelter, which we accomplished with help from our friends at The Presbyterian Church of La Porte. You can see photos on our Facebook page here. Harrison Holtkamp describes the rationale for the project this way: “We take care of guests daily, why can’t we also help our local pollinators (bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, etc.)? We have the space and it beautifies our property. It also gives our guests something to maintain and be proud of.”
3. Summer Fundraising for Phase 2 Remodel
During the summer, we started a major fundraising effort for our ‘Phase 2 Remodel.’ The Healthcare Foundation of La Porte offered us a challenge grant. The terms: if we could raise $25,000, they would match that amount. The donations received would go to the ‘Phase 2’ of remodeling our homeless shelter. More specifically, we would update our windows and doors and also create a fund for future repairs.
We are happy to report that this fundraiser has been a huge success…but we still need your help!
In total, we received $62,000 in donations from the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte and individual donors like you. However, the estimate came in and we found out that it would cost $73,000 to replace and update all the windows and doors (on our main floor only). Therefore, we are still trying to raise funds for this project. If you would like to learn more about it and make a donation, check out this blog post.
4. Fall Service Days and Internal Training
In the fall, in conjunction with other organizations and community members, we held a few ‘service days.’ The idea of a service day is to get volunteers to come to our shelter on a specific day to work on specific projects that we need help with.
In September, we were able to disassemble and remove our four remaining church pews, and donate them to a local organization (The Share Foundation). In October, we began winterizing parts of our building, including replacing a small area of flat roof (about 10’X10’). There will be more service days in 2023, so we’ll keep you posted!
This fall, we also received a grant from The Healthcare Foundation of La Porte to pay for a fundraising coach and a CRM platform (a database where we store our email contacts and donor information). The coach has been meeting with our fundraising team every other week, and we are organizing ourselves to be more communicative (including weekly emails).
2023: Your Help Wanted!
That concludes our wrap up of some of the major projects we worked on in 2022, throughout all the seasons of the year. As you can see, our success on these projects depends largely on the community. If you’d like to volunteer with us, contact us here. Also, follow us on Facebook to learn about new service days at our shelter. With your help, we can make 2023 even better!