New Auburn Rescue Mission features 28 townhouse style apartments
Off Meriman Street is the newest neighborhood in the City of Auburn. The Auburn Rescue Mission is nearing completion on twenty eight townhouse style apartments in a cul-de-sac extension being added to the end of the street. Twenty are for long term tenants and eight apartments for emergency homeless assistance. Today staff and volunteers brought in beds, furniture and even dishes. Meriman Street may not look like a shelter. Project Manager Gary Mann says the hope is to make people in need feel comfortable
"If we prove this is the model that truly gets families where they want to be then why wouldn't we go this way," said Mann.
In Auburn, much of the need for emergency shelter is for families with children. Rescue Mission staff often had to put them up in hotels. Now those families will have kitchens, bedrooms and support close by.
The Rescue Mission's building is right in the center of the 28 apartments. It will house case workers, a social worker, a food pantry and a kitchen. Another room will have computers and iPads for community use.
"For the people here it is a community. We are calling it Meriman Circle and that's what it is. So regardless of where you live, we are right here and we're ready," said Mann.
Marcia Thurston lives across the street from Meriman Circle and watched as the project came together. In her 30's Thurston was briefly homeless and got back on her feet with help from her aunt.
"I know what its like and I'm glad people are getting homes, furniture and what they need," said Thurston.
The Rescue Mission is still processing some applications but the first families could move in by March 25th.