Because Venango County has a small homeless population who sleep under bridges and along the bike trail, a concerned group of citizens have partnered with the County to provide a homeless shelter. After reviewing a number of potential sites, a 3 story brick building at 1269 Liberty Street in Franklin has been chosen for that purpose. The first floor is currently rented to a yarn Shoppe; the second floor contains 3 occupied apartments; and the third floor will be renovated to provide space for the homeless shelter.
Much like we did on Elk Street and in Polk, Mustard Seed has agreed to assist in renovations. Ross Kilian and Dave Betts will guide our volunteers and contractors through this process. Closing on the property is anticipated for tomorrow, July 15th. Then, starting on Monday July 18th, a group of volunteers from the Oakland United Methodist Church will initially focus on clearing debris from the basement, removing old fixtures and moving supplies up to the third floor. During the second week of August, a mission group from Maryland is returning to Venango County to help on this project (as they did last year at the Polk house).
This is a great local mission project that will need lots of volunteer help. Your Sunday School Class or youth group may find it rewarding to adopt a room or other part of this renovation as your own special project, so feel free to drop in this coming week to check out the third floor, to satisfy your curiosity and to get familiar with what is in store for the property. You won’t be under any obligation to help next week, but a visit may encourage you or your group to pitch in later as “the hands and feet of God” with those of us who are concerned about the homeless of Venango County . . .”for whatever you did for one of the least of these . . . . you did for Me”.
There will be lots more information to come as this project is just barely moving from having a vision for helping the homeless into more concrete steps toward realization. Ross, Dave Betts and I hope to see a lot of our volunteers join in the fun and hard work.
Paul Sallade 1-814-516-5341
Ross Kilian 1-724-866-4858
We have two projects on our Home Repair schedule for next week as shown below. Please call if you can help on either project.
On Wednesday, we need volunteers to help repair a door. Weather and time have severely damaged the outside surface of this front door, so we will install a pre-primed and painted panel over it. We will also add new weather stripping and a new threshold. The address is 995 Cooperstown Rd, Cooperstown.
On Thursday, we need volunteers to help repair concrete steps and install handrails in front of the house at 117 West Front St, Oil City. If necessary, this project may carry over into Friday, but with adequate help this would seem unlikely.
Looking ahead, the following week is the week of July 4th, so no Home Repair work will be scheduled. However, furniture/appliance deliveries (if any) will be held as planned since this is the second Saturday of the month. We are typically done by noon – so if you work during the week this is your opportunity to volunteer . . . especially in need of bodies under 60 years of age?.
Finally, a JOY to share. On Tuesday, a group of 19 youth and adults came from three Catholic parishes near DuBois to help us remove a rotten deck surface on North Street in Oil City and then replace it with new treated lumber. Although they worked diligently, they had only one day to share with us, so work had to be completed by some of our local volunteers on Wednesday and Friday. We thank Board Member Sister Tina Geiger for arranging this hugely successful cooperative work day!
We have 3 projects on our Home Repair schedule for this coming week, and we could use volunteers on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday as described below:
On Monday, we have 2 volunteers already to pick up a donated-front loading washing machine in Franklin and then install it in Cranberry. These two guys are REALLY OLD?, so if you feel young and energetic, we could use a hand.
On Wednesday, we could use 2 more volunteers (we have 2 already) to install 3 replacement windows on Rt. 965 just outside of Polk. The frames are in very poor condition, so extra hands would be a huge help.
On Friday, we have 2 volunteers to rip up and replace a very small bathroom floor. Since it is so small, I don’t think we can get more than these two volunteers into it at once, so I think we are in good shape for volunteers on this project.
Furniture deliveries are tentatively set for the Second Saturday of each month from now on. If you can spare time on Saturday the 11th (we are typically done by noon), please give us a call.
It has been a wonderful year and a truly productive December for our Home Repair efforts. This is a great testament to the energy and unselfish work of all our volunteers and staff.
Just two days before Christmas we completed all work on Joey Mathieson’s addition and it is BEAUTIFUL!!. As we were collecting all our tools and cleaning up, donations of a new furniture were arriving, making it possible for him to sleep in his new bedroom and to use his new bathroom just before Christmas. What a wonderful Christmas present! Please watch for information on an open house and an appreciation dinner that is being planned for January 22nd for all volunteers who helped on Joey’s addition.
We also completed work on the house at Polk and have been told that the county will continue to own the house. It will be added to Venango County’s list of approved HUD housing and as such, it will be made available at a below-market rate to a HUD-qualified low-income family. A father and his 5 children who currently live in Polk have been anxiously watching the work as it has progressed and will probably be the first tenants.
Finally, we have a few small projects that are on our “to do list”, but feel that you need this week off to enjoy the holidays with your families. So put your feet up, relax and save up your energy for the new year and its new list of smaller jobs, as we have made a conscious decision to avoid any projects as large as the Polk house or Joey’s addition at this time.
A new MSM sign has popped up in Polk and no, it’s not a MSM “owned” property. Venango County has purchased a home to be used as a low-income housing opportunity, bringing the opportunity for someone to come out of poverty and have the opportunity to be a responsible home owner. The home is not in bad condition but needs some minor upgrades.
MSM has been asked to oversee these improvements and provide volunteer labor. A group of young people in mission are coming this month for the purpose of working on this home. MSM missionary/contractor, Ross Kilian will be on hand to manage the project and provide his Christian witness to the workers as they work together to accomplish great things for the Lord. Be in prayer for this project and the family who will someday benefit.
Mustard Seed House, at 808 Elk Street in Franklin, is a Venango County-wide effort to provide temporary, transient family housing. After two years of planning, the house is ready for occupancy. At this time, we will be working on the outside of the house to repair the porches and other items.
To find out more or schedule a time to volunteer, contact Project Manager, Ross Killian at 724-866-4858.
Families that may be housed here might have experienced a trauma such as a house fire or a roof collapse where they need temporary housing. Venango County Human Services is the agency which assigns the families that will be provided this housing. Once a family has been placed, the County will contact Mustard Seed Missions so we can provide spiritual support and a food basket through the Franklin Salvation Army.
Become the contact person at your church/organization who helps coordinate volunteers and resources. Volunteer your skills to help in whatever way you can. Help with a project, give a ride, listen and help, pray and much more. Donate items such as building materials, appliances, food, clothing, furniture, money, etc. Prayer Warriors are always welcome!!
If you are a person who…
Has a heart for hurting and disadvantaged people
Has a passion burning for sharing the Gospel through words and actions across our community
Has time to get involved in one of our main work areas: Home Repairs, Building Ramps, Delivering Household Goods and Out-of-County Transportation; then we have some simple steps that you can take.
VOLUNTEER APP – We would love to have you fill out a Volunteer Applicationthat can be accessed and printed here on our website.
CHURCH LIAISON – Be a liaison from your church that can communicate the needs of Mustard Seed Missions back to your members and pastor; we need these people desperately for this to be a Venango Co. collaborative project and to fulfill the need we think God may bring us. What an opportunity!
Please call the office at 814-437-1982 if you have questions on how to be involved.