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