POINT PLEASANT — The staff at the Mason County Homeless Shelter have been keeping busy working towards getting a new facility and as always addressing important needs of others, such as shelter and food.
John Machir, housing director of the Mason County Homeless Shelter and Simms Housing, reported as far as the project for the new homeless shelter goes, they are still waiting to hear back about receipt of a the Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant for which they recently applied. Currently, they are in the feasibility study process of the grant wherein recently the committee reviewing the applications sent out questionnaires to the entities in the running for the grant. The decision on if the homeless shelter receives the grant will be known around mid-December.
For additional proceeds towards this project, today (Saturday) from 4-6 p.m. at the St. Paul Lutheran Church in New Haven, a baked steak dinner benefit will be held. The meal will consist of baked steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, cole slaw, dessert, roll and a drink. The meals cost $12 and can be either dine in or carry out. All of the proceeds will be going to the homeless shelter.
In other homeless shelter news, on Tuesday, Oct. 8 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., the staff will be holding an open house at the homeless shelter. During this time, individuals will be given a tour of the facility. All are invited to attend this event and light refreshments will be served. Machir encourages everyone to stop by and visit the facility, especially those who have never been by before, so they can learn about what all the homeless shelter does to serve the community. Also, this will be a chance for individuals to see why the staff is working to get a new facility. The homeless shelter is located at 306 12th Street in Point Pleasant.
The homeless shelter also has a new intern, Jamin Layton, who is a social work student at Marshall University and is using the homeless shelter’s food pantry as his capstone project. Layton is one of three social work interns in the county currently. Throughout this project, there will be two food drives held for the homeless shelter. For the current food drive, the homeless shelter staff are asking for different sorts of items that are not available through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and items they do not receive from the Facing Hunger Foodbank in Huntington such as powdered mashed potatoes, pasta and pasta sauce, rice, ramen noodles, box meals, flour, sugar, various spices, peanut butter, jelly, crackers, etc. Machir commented these sorts of items will help individuals stretch their food supplies and will allow individuals and their families to be able to make additional meals from the other items they receive in their food boxes. This project is addressing the food scarcity problem within the county and to make people aware of how they can help others the best way possible. Supplies can be dropped off at the homeless shelter for the Mason Volunteer Fire Department (MVFD). For more information regarding the needed supplies for this food drive, contact the homeless shelter or the MVFD.
(Note: Also, at Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School (PPJ/SHS) certain student sports teams, groups and organizations are collecting donations for all area food pantries. For instance, the PPJ/SHS Cheerleaders are collecting donations at the next couple of football games.)
Erin (Perkins) Johnson is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.