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Local shelter kicks off revival with plans for expansion

POSTED: June 9, 2014 1:36 a.m.

The land beyond the Good News at Noon shelter is overgrown with rundown buildings, but Pastor Fletcher Law sees great potential.

“Hopefully, we’re going to get ... pretty much this whole block,” Law said, standing in a giant warehouse. He didn’t know the square footage, but it rests on 2.58 acres that now belong to the nonprofit.

“We’re hoping this will be a children’s ministry, a children’s gym,” he said about the building, located just down the road from Melrose Community apartments. “The children, they’re over here all the time. They’re over here late at night.”

Good News at Noon spent around $250,000 to purchase the land and the building; they need to raise around $100,000 to settle that debt, and then just as much to complete the renovations, Law said.

Along with a children’s gym for the youth ministry, plans include a community garden and a fitness trail.

“We need everything, I think,” Law said. “We need to rebuild what we’ve got, too. It’s ancient. I bet that building might be 80 years old.”

Expansion plans have been in the works for some time, but Law hopes the shelter’s first-ever revival, taking place this week through Wednesday, will encourage community members to learn more about the shelter’s mission and the plans for the future.

“Obviously, it’s going to give us more space to work with our children,” said On-Site Director Thomas Ramirez. “(And) to work with our homeless in order to educate them so they can get a better quality of life.”

He’s watched some of the children grow up, and now sees them working in various jobs in the community.

“It makes me feel good,” he said. “This is fruit from Good News at Noon. The longer God allows me to live, I’m going to keep on doing the same thing.”

They don’t have specific fundraising efforts in place, but leaders are getting the word out through social media and other public avenues, including this week’s revival, which will feature “old-fashioned evangelist” Ray Lowe from Thomaston.

Meals will be served at 7 p.m. nightly, with music beginning at 7:30 and the service beginning around 8 p.m.

“It’s very exciting,” Lowe said. “We’re going to deal just with salvation. Of course, for a lot of people here, they’re not saved.”

Good News founder Gene Beckstein began feeding hungry people in 1987. The nonprofit has grown to provide free meals at lunch and dinner every day, as well as a men’s shelter and the youth ministry.

“We try to lift Jesus up in both word and deed,” Law said. “We share Jesus.”


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