Emergency Solutions Grant Update, by Pastor Todd Bratulich

This past summer, First Covenant Church applied for and was awarded a grant from the City of Minneapolis to work on capital improvements for the space we utilize to provide seasonal shelter for people experiencing homelessness in partnership with the Salvation Army. The scope of the grant will fund renovations and improvements to the Fellowship Hall (lower level) which will include two new ADA accessible showers, laundry facilities, lockers, flooring, security upgrades, and an office space to be utilized by Salvation Army staff during the shelter season. All of the improvements will serve to provide more hospitable environment for our shelter guests, staff and volunteers, and open the door for the possibility of serving as a women-only shelter in the future if deemed necessary or advantageous by the Salvation Army given their always changing demographics.

As the 2015-2016 shelter season comes to a close, we are moving closer to the construction phase of the project. Given our current timeline, construction will likely begin in June and continue through the end of the summer, with the goal being to move to completion with plenty of time to get ready for next year’s shelter season to start again in November. I am excited to announce that we will once again be working with Fair & Square Remodeling as our General Contractor. In addition to having worked on recent remodeling efforts at FCC, Fair & Square CEO Mike Otto has become a friend and partner to First Covenant Church, doing outreach alongside the congregation organizing work days with Urban Homeworks, and establishing True North, a group where professional men can have a safe environment to support each other in the challenges of their lives and careers. I am also grateful for the talented and engaged volunteer team that has been working to move this project forward, including Brian Wass, Carina Aleckson, and Suzanne Begin, not to mention the additional hours put in by staff! Look for changes in the Fellowship Hall coming soon!