'First of It's Kind' Shelter for Women and Children Coming to Evansville in Early 2025
Evansville Rescue Mission has begun renovations to establish the new 120-bed shelter called the Susan H. Snyder Center for Women and Children
The facility will be called the Susan H. Snyder Center for Women and Children, which the Evansville Rescue Mission (ERM) is calling the first of its kind.
It will shelter single women and single women with children with 120 beds in the repurposed St. Vincent Hospital at 1400 professional Avenue off Covert Avenue.
Kyle Gorman is Director of Advancement at Evansville Rescue Mission. He said there are not enough beds for impoverished or homeless women in the city.
“So a lot of them are couchsurfing with friends or they are sleeping in their cars or cheap hotel rooms or maybe doing stuff to find other means,” said. “So the need is great.”
He said they may also stay in abusive relationships to avoid being homeless.
“So a lot of them are in homeless encampments around Evansville; Aurora (Evansville) does a lot of really great outreach, reaching those communities and getting resources there.”
“There's a lot of places that will offer help and resources to women. But this place is going to be a one-stop shop and you're going to be able to stay for a long time and really make sure that when you leave you leave for success.”
Gorman said this will be the only long-term facility in the area. No time limits are set, but he expects a 12-18 month's stay.
Details related to food programming and wraparound services are still in the planning phase. He expects to be open in the first quarter of 2025.
On Thursday, the ERM held a ceremony to kick off the renovations which will be conducted by ARC Construction. Instead of breaking ground, ERM, designer LA+D and ARC Construction hammered nails into a 2X4 to symbolize the start of construction.
They’ve raised $9 million for rebuilding the interior of the former St. Vincent outpatient building and funding the first three years of operation as fundraising catches up.
Gorman said their coffee shop and thrift store will also factor into financial success.
He said there are about 500 homeless individuals in the Evansville area, so the need for such a facility is great.
Rescue Mission staff have traveled to other Christian-based shelters to pick up ideas and best practices for their new women and children’s center.
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