Rowan Helping Ministries ready open new facility

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - It is a facility built for the need that exists now, but also for the future.

The new Rowan Helping Ministries Robertson-Stanback Center will be open for clients on May 19, but on Tuesday WBTV got a look inside the new facility.

"This is a place where we are able to help people who have sort of come to the end of their rope, those who are experiencing homelessness to find hope and help," Director Kyna Grubb told WBTV.

The building, right across N. Long Street from the existing RHM, is a 30,000 square foot facility costing $6 million.  Private donations from individuals and community groups made up a large part of the cost.

The overnight shelter will be greatly expanded with separate sleeping areas for men, women, and families.

The current shelter, built in 1989, was designed for 40 individuals, but now the shelter sees twice that many on most nights.

There are significant upgrades to the kitchen and laundry area, as well as the rooms where clients can meet with social workers.

"This is a different project because of how it seeks to serve the community around us," Pete Bogle told WBTV.  Bogle is the project architect on the job from the Salisbury firm Ramsay, Burgin, and Smith.

Bogle said that one of the main ideas behind his design was to create something that would minimize the costs associated with operating such a large building, so there are touches like solar panels that can produce electricity and heat water, a generous use of daylight through the placement of windows and skylights, and materials that are long lasting, like a polished concrete floor.

"Sustainable design does incorporate anything from lowering your energy bills over the years, longevity of materials so that you don't have to replace elements like polished concrete floors obviously, that's a material that is there and will be there," Bogle added.

And Grubb says if they do their job in educating those in need and providing a hand up, it could lead those clients to find stability in life.

"Our goals is to when they leave here they won't come back, but they will have found success," Grubb added.