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Archive for Sunday, August 20, 1995

PROJECT WILL ADD LAUNDRY, SHOWER FACILITIES TO CENTER

August 20, 1995

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A drop-in center for the homeless and others will be expanded to include showers and a laundry room.

Volunteers at a community drop-in center for the homeless hope to have a laundry room and showers addition built by Thanksgiving.

"We want to have it finished so we can start allowing the usage before winter sets in," said Lani Oglesby, an advocate for the local homeless.

The Community Drop-In Center, located on the west side of the Second Christian Church, 13th and Connecticut, has offered a place for the homeless to go in the mornings since it opened in March.

During the week, many of Lawrence's homeless and others down on their luck don't have many places where they're welcome.

A shelter at the Salvation Army Church, 946 N.H., is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday only. But there are no showers there. Showers that had been used by the homeless at the Community Building, 11th and Vermont, cannot be used because the building is under renovation.

A ground breaking for the new addition for the drop-in center hasn't been set.

But Oglesby said a local contractor, Pete Hermes, supervisor for several Habitat for Humanity houses, is pushing ahead with plans for the expansion.

The project will include a men's and women's shower, and laundry and changing rooms. Cost is estimated at $20,000, Oglesby said.

The Second Christian Church is providing some funding, and organizers are hoping to raise funds through a series of public speakers that will address problems of the homeless.

Those sessions are set for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 11, 18 and 25 at the St. Lawrence Catholic Center, 1631 Crescent Rd. Speakers will include state Sen. Sandy Praeger and Rep. Barbara Ballard, and former state Rep. Forrest Swall.

The center's hours currently are 9 a.m. to noon, Mondays through Fridays. Organizers are optimistic that hours soon will be expanded.

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