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REACH center finds a temporary home

September 04, 2004|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

Months before relocating to its new permanent headquarters at the Cannon Shoe Factory building, the REACH Center is moving to a temporary home Tuesday in Christ's Reformed Church's Fellowship Hall at 130 W. Franklin St.

"We had a number of churches volunteer to take us in, but it seemed most appropriate to go to Christ's Reformed since we will eventually be next door anyway," said Terri Baker, executive director of REACH, which stands for Religious Effort to Assist and Care for the Homeless.

Because of the move, the office at Hebron Mennonite Church will be closed from Sept. 7-10. The office will reopen at Christ's Reformed Church on Sept. 13 at 8:30 a.m.

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The REACH Center capital campaign has passed the $450,000 mark in its quest for $750,000 to finance the new location. The new REACH Center eventually will be home to 24-hour crisis intervention, the cold weather shelter for the homeless and Faith in Action.

The temporary location, which will have its own door onto the church parking lot, measures 24 square feet, Baker said. While that may not seem like much, it is more than REACH has at Hebron, which has been the agency's only home since 1997.

While the space at Hebron was smaller, REACH did have access to a nearby meeting room and kitchen, Baker said.

"Hebron has been so very generous to REACH, but the church needs to grow and expand," Baker said. Hebron is at 13315 Highlane St. in the Paramount area.

Volunteers will be needed on moving day to help transport office furniture, filing cabinets and boxes to the new location, Baker said. People should call first to find out where they can be most useful.

"Four months ago, we didn't know when the new location would be ready," Baker said. Some delays have pushed the group past the date the agency told Hebron it would be vacating the space.

The cold weather shelter will open Nov. 14, rotating between sites at area churches, which have been planned through the end of January, Baker said. Sponsors for additional sites still are needed, as well as volunteers willing to provide packed lunches for the shelter clients.

To contact REACH, call 301-733-2371 or send e-mail to reachcaregivers@aol.com.

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