Friends of the Haven of Portage County, we would like to bring you an update on the renovations and construction of our facility at 2645 Route 59. Our faithful donors have been very patient as we maneuver our way through obtaining permits, raising funds, and overcoming several barriers.

First, let me address some of the barriers and accomplishments we have encountered and resolved over the past 3 years — and what is actually happening behind those boarded up windows:

• Permits — township and county

• Zoning and EPA approvals

• Easement from landowners behind the facility — 1 pending

• Waiting on contractors who are donating some or all their time, talent and materials, allowing us not to have to take out a loan.

• Discovering there was a large fee for tying in and connecting water, and sanitary sewer —  nearly $150,000 — and applied for CBDG funding.

• Fire suppression  — 90% completed

• Masonry — 95% completed

• New HVAC — 90% completed

• Installation of electric — 80% completed

• Installation of plumbing — 80% completed

• Windows, doors — 80% completed

• Miscellaneous, walls —  95% completed

• Drywall, interior doors, painting, construction supplies, dumpster rental

• Roof — weather permitting

It has been a long road, but as you can see, we are getting remarkably close to making this dream a reality for those individuals in need. Your generosity in supporting this project has enabled us to get this far and we are so incredibly grateful for your continued support.

Many changes have occurred since we set out on this road – the largest being COVID-19. An analysis conducted by Dr. Brendan O’Flaherty, a professor of economics at Columbia University, projects an increase by 40-45% this year — an addition of nearly 250,000 people — if homelessness follows unemployment the way it has done so in the earlier part of this century. Under this scenario over 800,000 total Americans would be experiencing homelessness by summer.

Homelessness is real, even here in Portage County. We need to keep in mind, "Where are you Sleeping Tonight?" We are so grateful for your support and walking along side of us as we bring this project to fruition.

May God continue to Bless You!

Anne Marie Noble, executive director of the Haven