PROVIDENCE – Amos House President and CEO Eileen Hayes this week kicked off the public phase of a $6 million capital campaign to build a new, three-level community center.
Dubbed “Rebuilding Lives,” the campaign has already raised $3.5 million for the construction goal of $5 million, along with $1 million to endow maintenance. Pledges raised include more than $40,000 that has been voluntarily given from Amos House staff, half of whom are former guests, Hayes said.
“Our donors have been very generous in their support of this capital campaign,” said Hayes. “There is genuine understanding that the investments being made are not only in a building, they are improving, changing, and more often than not, saving the lives of fellow Rhode Islanders.”
The 38-year-old Amos House provides support for those people in Rhode Island who are hungry, homeless and in crisis. The capital campaign is aimed at enhancing a campus that has become limited because of the growth in scope and size of services over the past 20 years, she said.
Construction will include a 28,600-square-foot facility designed with room for growth as it provides a new soup kitchen with a larger dining hall, staff offices, classrooms, community rooms, and training centers. Architecturally, its design will blend into the fabric of the neighborhood.
“Consolidating all of our staff and services into one location will greatly help us to better serve our community,” said Maggie Meany, chief operating officer of Amos House. “It will help us do better the things we do best.”
The project will allow 20 percent more guests to be seated at each meal in the new soup kitchen, provide a dedicated social services suite for guests, accept up to 50 percent more students into the carpentry and culinary training programs, consolidate administrative spaces to free up space in other campus buildings and include a dedicated community room for day programs and social service sessions.
Serving more than 15,000 people a year, the nonprofit social services agency operates the largest soup kitchen in the state; provides transitional and permanent supportive housing for 175 persons a night; runs culinary arts, carpentry, financial literacy, and literacy training programs; provides an array of social services; and operates two social enterprises: The Friendship Café and More Than A Meal Catering.
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