Youth Day Shelter Opens Amid Cold Snap Featured Image

Youth Day Shelter Opens Amid Cold Snap

"The Ground Floor project is a very clear articulation of the priorities of our congregation. Relationships with our neighbors, building welcoming space, extending love in our community: all of these are the 'ground floor' of our faith."

–Rev. David Weasley, the church's youth, young adult and mission pastor

From church basement to full-service day shelter for youth, the transformation of The Ground Floor at First Congregational is complete. While winter weather foiled the Saturday evening public appearance of keynote speaker Ryan Berg, a New York City youth worker and author of No House to Call my Home, a ribbon cutting commenced on Sunday afternoon with Mayor Linville officiating.

The new, 3,500-square-foot center will be operated rent-free by Northwest Youth Services. It offers a safe, warm and welcoming place for young people (ages 13-24) to relax, shower, do laundry, nap, study, cook, eat, and get connected with programs and services. NWYS began providing services in the new space January 28, just prior to the year’s first cold snap with several days of below-freezing weather, biting winds and snow.

Church members and supporters raised more than $1million to complete renovations, with some of the jobs — like digging plumbing trenches — accomplished by volunteers. RMC and Pearson Construction also donated time to the project.