This past Wednesday we held a media event at the location of our new downtown La Crosse office and Community Warming Center. It was a great morning to showcase the start of the building renovation and to formally kick-off our capital campaign: “Building Hope … A New Space of Welcome!” We’re especially grateful that Bishop Callahan was able to join us for the formal commencement. Enjoy the pictures from this event on the second page.
For the past three winter seasons Catholic Charities has operated the La Crosse Warming Center through the goodness of many generous donors and dedicated volunteers in the lower level of the First Baptist Church’s education wing. We have longed to have a larger facility that would be able to house more guests, provide showers and laundry services, and to accommodate Catholic Charities supportive community services to aid those who are motivated to change to progress out of homelessness. This new downtown location at 413 South Third Street will enable us to provide these hoped for services.
The familiar Psalm 23 gives us the phrase, “He guides me.” When we trust in our Lord, indeed he will guide us. We searched for a couple of years for a suitable location for a downtown location and it finally turned up at 413 South Third Street. Mary Fitzpatrick, the Warming Center Coordinator, reflected on one of her favorite bible verses and suddenly realized the connection between the street address, 413, and her verse, Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” What an inspiring, hope-filled message for all the guests and people who will be coming to our new building seeking warmth, hospitality, help and hope.
Building Hope … A New Space of Welcome is our campaign that needs your financial support. Renovation costs are budgeted at $350,000. While initial contributions and commitments have already achieved 60%, we still need $140,000 to meet our goal. Contributions may be made on our secure website. Visit our webpage at www.cclse.org to follow our progress in achieving our goal.
In this closing month of summer, from all of us at Catholic Charities, may you enjoy restful, safe and blessed days with your families and friends!
Deacon Richard Sage