Pa. shelter closing for renovations

September 03, 2005|By RICHARD F. BELISLE


The New Hope Shelter is closing again, but not because the fire marshal ordered it closed.

"We're closing down for the month of October to do some badly needed renovations," said Peg Spangler, executive director of the homeless shelter at 25 S. Potomac St.

The shelter currently houses about 38 residents, including seven children, all of whom will have to find temporary living quarters until the renovations are complete, Spangler said.

Shelter volunteers are trying to help the residents find quarters.

"It's been easier to find them for the families than for the single people," Spangler said.

The shelter was closed on Sept. 18, 2003, when Waynesboro Fire Marshal Jerry Hartman ordered it to be closed on the eve of a tropical storm that was predicted to run through the borough.


Hartman closed the facility after finding several major fire code violations that he repeatedly had warned shelter officials to correct, he said at the time.

Hartman said Friday that he and Daniel Sheffler, zoning and code enforcement officer for the Borough of Waynesboro, last inspected the shelter about three weeks ago. No major violations were found, Hartman said.

A lot needs to be done inside the converted four-story, former brick textile factory building next to the Always There Hook and Ladder Co. No. 1.

The red carpet squares that run from the entrance throughout the building, past the men's and women's dorms, and the five family rooms need to be picked up, a subfloor put down and new linoleum and/or vinyl tiles installed over it. The same flooring is needed in the kitchen, laundry room, bathrooms and family rooms, Spangler said.

All of the rooms need to be repainted as well, she said.

Spangler said once the renovations are complete, it will be easier to maintain the shelter.

"It's hard to keep this old carpeting clean," she said.

The shelter has no money other than what it receives in donations to keep the facility running - about $2,500 per month.

Spangler and her fellow volunteers at the shelter are hoping to recruit area churches, organizations, individuals and families to "adopt" a room, including the dorms, family rooms, kitchen, bathroom, laundry and hallways.

For example, Spangler said, Quincy United Methodist Church has adopted the kitchen. Church members will bring in their own paint, flooring and other supplies to redo the kitchen, she said.

Three young Mormon men have volunteered to paint the front exterior of the building, Spangler said.

The shelter still is seeking volunteers to adopt other rooms in the building. Anyone interested may call the shelter at 717-762-5840.

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