A shelter to house displaced Lincoln, Boyle, Mercer and Garrard county families will be opening March 6 in Lancaster, but in order to meet the deadline the shelter desperately needs volunteers.
Brandy and Jason Marshall are supervising the renovation four apartments in downtown Lancaster, two of which will provide a place for families displaced by fire, flood or other disaster to stay until they can find a permanent solution. The other two apartments will be rented out and that money will go to paying the shelter’s utilities, mortgage, and insurance tax. The shelter will be managed by the outreach program Second Chances.
Located next to the apartments, Harvest Market will provide clothes and other items to families in need. Harvest Market’s name derives from the idea that the general store will provide an opportunity for the community to give back to those in need, through donations, allowing others the chance to reuse the items.
“This has been an adventure,” Brandy Marshall said of the renovations. The Marshall’s have funded the project out of their own pocket to the tune of around $100,000. With five children of their own, they are counting on volunteer hours and money to complete the project. “We need more help because there are no shelters in Lincoln or Garrard,” Marshall said. She came up with the idea of opening a shelter after her Garrard business caught fire four years ago; March 6 is the anniversary of that fire.
Steve Cooper and Jake Ison have also donated their time to the cause. Ison, who is a member of the Animal Planet show Call of the Wildman, said, “This is a good thing for the community and they should help. You never know when you will be in need.”
Ison has helped with the construction and has a list of supplies that the shelter needs. Drywall, trim, doors and cabinets are at the top of the list, but they will accept any items, ranging from nails and screws to paint.
“Left over building supplies goes a long way,” Marshall said.
Marshall is asking community members to make a pledge of $25 each in the hopes of reaching a total of $5,000. The group thinks that this is a reasonable amount to ask for and that economically it will go a long way estimating that they can buy four pieces of drywall for that amount. People can donate at the Whitaker Bank in Lancaster or drop off money or check donations at the shelter on 112 Lexington Street in Lancaster.
Ison estimates, providing they have all the materials, five people could finish one apartment if five days. If they have ten people, they could get two apartments completed in the same amount of time. Feb. 17-19 the shelter will hold a Building Marathon, in hopes of finishing up the shelter.
The shelter is enjoying broad support, and numerous people and businesses have donated to the cause including Tudor Printing, Neil James (also a member of the Call of the Wildman show) and Gregory Scott Cash. Lancaster Mayor Brenda Powers and Whitaker Bank have also supported the shelter. Volunteers can contact Brandy Marshall at 859-792-1807 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.