RONCEVERTE (WVDN) – An Organ Cave woman has new plans to help the area houseless population in Ronceverte.
In 2021 Amy Hubbard created the non-profit West Virginia Helping Hands, and now she has found a great project for the organization in the retrofit of the old hospital in Ronceverte, which has seen a few re-births over the years.
The structure is 33,000 sq. ft. and is being purchased by WV Helping Hands.
The facility will be a residential hall and training center for a “growing population of displaced people who have no housing or hope of changing their situation,” says Hubbard.
While previous tenants in the building had replaced the main roof and stabilized the main structure, Helping Hands’ first action was to repair and stabilize the buildings’ two annexes.
The rooms in the huge main building are quite spacious compared to modern hospital structures, and they will be remodeled as 82 efficiency apartments.
A common kitchen and dining room will be available, as well as a “clothes closet” which will offer all the clothing needs any incoming new resident could use.
There will be a temporary tenancy for these residents, as participation in the programs offered is a requirement and will eventually help the participants obtain housing, jobs, and whatever is holding them back from succeeding at living independently.
The numbers of people and families in this corner of West Virginia that are displaced and struggling are staggering. Some are in constant search for a friend to spend a few nights with, some live in their cars. The houseless population is a population in hiding, invisible by choice but they want to have independence and a place to call their own, says Hubbard.
Some are single parent families, some are elderly, a few are high school students who are having difficulty living independently from the foster system.
Transportation is an issue for many homeless people as well, and organizations available to help are scattered over the multi-county area. This facility will bring all those services into a single office space for the aid of the program members as a hub for resources.
A grant for a computer lab of $10,000 was recently awarded by the WV Housing Development Fund. The office and this lab will be the first parts of the building to operate.
A plan for the renovation of the residence apartments is underway.
A working day to tile and finish floors, paint, ceiling tile repair, light fixture installation is being planned as a community volunteer day with employees of INGEVITY in Covington, Va.
If grants continue to be obtained as planned, the occupation goal of the Helping Hands facility is fall of 2023.
Fundraising is going to be a continual activity, and August 6 marked the second annual golf tournament at Valley View Country Club and 27 sponsors, both business and individuals, are participated along with pay-to-play teams and donations collected through the day.
The Green Friday Raffle is the organization’s next fundraiser, where the winner will be announced the Friday after Thanksgiving. Of course, the big winner will be the WV Helping Hands.
To purchase raffle tickets, you can participate online through the email HelpingHandsofWV@yahoo.com and WV Helping Hands on Facebook. Donations can be mailed as well to WV Helping Hands, P.O. Box 334, Ronceverte, WV 24970.
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