BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. — It’s a project years in the making. In fact, the building now owned by The Cornerstone of Beaver County was the only option for Beaver County’s only men’s shelter.
“It’s complex and it takes resources and support to be able to deliver a program and a serve that is really going help people to be sustainable again in the community,” said Marie Timpano, Director of the Cornerstone of Beaver County.
It’s a $2 million endeavor with funding from the county and American Rescue funds. Soon Beaver County will have its own 24/7 men’s shelter, an option that is nonexistent right now.
“We are transforming a building here but we intend on transforming lives,” Timpano said.
Since the pandemic, The Cornerstone of Beaver County has seen homeless numbers rise with 758 people just last year. The only housing option was to rely upon hotels and motels, which racked up costs.
Now a rehabbed building in Vanport Township will house not just 20 beds, but also a classroom for learning with the Community College of Beaver County to help these men secure jobs.
“We are working with river wise crop and kettle. It has an agricultural and culinary program in New Brighton. We will have a garden and our men will be able to work on the agricultural side also have access to potentially become students through the culinary piece of that,” Timpano said.
While the nonprofit hoped to have the doors open this winter, shortages have hit the project. They hope to be up and running by the spring and helping at least 200 men every year.
“We are trying to reduce the stigma associated with this these are members of our community Beaver County the fabric of this community is built on caring for one another that’s the culture for all in Beaver County,” Timpano said.
One challenge with the property is the location. The location has busy traffic nearby and no sidewalks. So the nonprofit is partnering with Beaver County Transit to provide safe transportation to and from the shelter for anyone who needs it.
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