With a strong commitment to be one organization with one name in one building and the mission to serve persons living in poverty, the Leavenworth Interfaith Community of Hope is getting ready to construct a new facility.
The 6,000 square foot building will be located at 3rd and Kiowa on property donated to the non-profit organization by the City of Leavenworth, Kandas, USA, and on adjacent purchased property. The new structure will house Welcome Central, the Shelter of Hope and a Day Center – three programs currently operating out of two different locations. Sister Vickie Perkins, a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth, is director of the Leavenworth Interfaith Community of Hope – an initiative supported by volunteers, community members and 35 Leavenworth churches.
Sister Vickie acknowledged the cooperative and collaborative spirit of the city and Leavenworth County and the tremendous generosity of persons who have supported Welcome Central and the Leavenworth Interfaith Shelter of Hope since their inception in 2014. She noted that 67 percent of funding for operations has come from churches.
Brandon Johannes, president, Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce, said, “We have a great need. This is not a political issue; it’s not a community issue; it’s a human issue. And building the new facility and serving these persons is the right thing to do.”
More about current programs
- Welcome Central currently operates out of space at 217B North 5th Street and helps link people with existing community services, complete benefits forms and job applications, and provides transportation and other services. In the past nearly three years, Welcome Central has assisted more than 1,000 clients. It currently functions as the Day Center where persons who are homeless can stop in for coffee, do crafts or seek counsel.
- Located in northeast part of the city, the Leavenworth Shelter of Hope offers a safe place to sleep for individuals and families who are homeless. Currently, it provides accommodations for sleeping and no facilities for showers or laundry. In 2015, the shelter provided temporary lodging to 215 men, women and children.
- Current programs operate with minimal paid staff and extensive volunteer support.
Contributed by: Therese Horvat