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New shelter offers hope for the homeless

Families in a housing crisis have a new place to turn for help.

Posted: Oct. 12, 2018 9:17 AM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) —Three years ago Jaime Gibson was homeless.

"We didn't really have anywhere else to go," said Gibson. "We tried at a lot of different shelters and this was the only shelter that was open and available."

Gibson, pregnant with her third child, took her two small children to Family Promise of Greater Lafayette for help.

Not only did the organization help her with emergency shelter, it provided resources to help get her back on her feet.

"Like helping you find a job, helping you find a house, budgeting," said Gibson.

At that time, Family Promise was just a day shelter. Executive Director Laurie Earnst said families would have to stay at churches overnight.

"It was a nice facility, but at the same time it was crowded," Earnst explained. "Families didn't have a lot of privacy."

But all that changed with the opening of a brand new facility behind the Northend Community Center.

"We're hoping it's more comfortable for them," said Earnst. "It's a great location. There are so many amenities."

The new building houses up to five families in private rooms. A full kitchen and laundry facility are also available. Since the closure of the Salvation Army's Emergency Shelter in 2017, it's now the only shelter in the area that houses both men and women with children.

"They're already in a very stressful crisis situation, and to come into a place that's welcoming, I think that takes a lot of stress off what they're going through," Earnst added.

Gibson said she's impressed by the new facility and encourages anyone in need to take part in what Family Promise offers.

"Don't be afraid at all," said Gibson. "It's a great place. Warm, welcoming. It's been a very big help for me and my kids."

Earnst said families can stay for up to 60 days, and she said they sheltered three families immediately after opening the facility.

For more information on Family Promise of Greater Lafayette, click here.

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