EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – The community members of East St. Louis came together once again to help the only emergency women and children shelter in the area continue renovations.
Volunteers give Holy Angels shelter a makeover on the first floor, 10 months after they originally has their dining room redone.
Toni Muhammad, executive director of Catholic Urban Programs, which operates the shelter said when you walked into the Holy Angels at Hubbard House, the goal is to feel at home.
“Color and the space are uplifting, so it all matters,” Muhammad said.
What began as a heartwarming effort by volunteers to fix up the dining room in November, has sparked a full-blown makeover.
“They come to us at their most vulnerable times, when they are in crisis without a place to go,” Muhammad said. “So, we do things like this to make it a place where people feel inspired and they feel hopeful for what’s to come in the future.”
Church members from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) joined in to help the shelter by cleaning the outside and uplifting everyone inside.
“A lot of what religions, they help to restore people and help to lift them up. I feel like that’s a lot of what this work has done,” said Randy Walker, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
The volunteers had refurbished the living room and the pantry. They had transformed the brown staircase into a rainbow leading to the bedrooms of the 18 women and children that live there.
“I have four kids myself, so we know what it’s like in times of struggle,” said Karen Petitts, a volunteer for the LDS. “So, the fact that there’s a place they can go to, even temporarily, and make it a nice place was really our goal.”
There were around $7,000 in donations to assist in renovating the shelter. It allowed Petitts and the rest of her congregation to go beyond their act of service.
“The fact that they’re so happy about it makes it so worthwhile,” she said.
You can find out more about the shelter here.