Last fall, Saint Andrew’s Family Shelter in Hugo was the recipient of one of Faith Lutheran’s Mission Grants as part of Share Tank. They requested funding to remodel a musty farmhouse basement into an indoor play area for kids in winter and inclement weather. Recently, Deacon Nina checked in with Carrin Mahmood, Family Shelter Team Lead, to find out how the remodel was going and what impact it has had on the families.
How is the remodeled basement Faith Lutheran supported being used?
"Can anyone say "12 kids and a Polar Vortex?" The kids had more than a little cabin fever this winter and we only survived because of the basement. The older kids like the game tables, although they do get somewhat tired of Carrin being the champion ALL THE TIME "woot!" The little kids LOVE rolling and tumbling and, ahem, wrestling."
What do kids/families think of the remodeled space?
We have had to implement a "No nagging about the basement" rule. There has to be an adult there at all times and kids want to be there. At. All. Times.
What's the best thing about the remodeled basement?
It is fun! Kids don't care that we formed a partnership to get it. Or that we "won it" in Shark/Share Tank, or that it gave an Eagle Scout a project (he did the floor) or some local artists an outlet for their creativity. They just know it's a blast
How has the grant money been used?
We had to put in an egress window (The least sexy way to use a grant ever!!!) many coats of water/mold resistant paint. Many cans of fun colored paint. Build a wall to block off the furnace and other non kid-friendly things in the back of the basement,. And we bought a foosball (did I mention Carrin is the champion) table and an air hockey table
What else awesome should we celebrate about the basement space?
That it has not only been a blessing to the families here, but has truly become a community endeavor. It afforded a young man an outlet to do his Eagle project (the flooring, funky lighting, bean bags and shelving) And gave a group of kids a way to express their artistic talents (legally and not in the dark ) with painting murals.
Anything else we should know?
That partnership is the back bone of ending homeless and joy begets joy!
Join us in joyful partnership by serving at the Hugo Family Shelter June 23-29. Volunteers are needed to serve dinner 5-8:30 pm and for an overnight shift 8:15 pm-9:15 am. Stop by the table after worship, or contact Deacon Nina in the church office to find out more.