Mornings are looking brighter for residents in the Emergency Overnight Shelter in the gym at MCSA.
Thanks to a $4,000 donation from Muscatine-based HNI Corp., the shelter’s renovated shower and bathroom was opened Wednesday to the six men who spent the night in the gym shelter. The work was done over the past week by North Construction of Muscatine. In addition to building the new tile shower, the workers installed new flooring and painted the entire bathroom.
Efforts to renovate the bathroom began last year when members of the HNI Social Committee chose MCSA as one of the charities for which they would raise money. Members of the committee then organized several fundraisers for their co-workers in HNI’s downtown Muscatine corporate offices. Money raised by jeans days and a Thanksgiving meal, for example, were used to help pay for the bathroom renovation. All together, the employees raised $2,000, which was matched by the HNI Foundation.
When they donated the money earlier this year, the committee members said it was the most they have raised so far for a Muscatine-area charity. HNI is the world’s second-largest office furniture manufacturer and the nation’s leading manufacturer and marketer of gas- and wood-burning fireplaces. The company was founded in Muscatine in 1944 by C. Maxwell Stanley, Clem Hanson and H. Wood Miller.
The gym shelter is one of three shelters operated by MCSA. The others are the Family Shelter and the Men’s Dorms. After 9 p.m. each day, the gymnasium converts into a shelter with room for up to 45 men. Each resident has a designated 12-foot-by-12-foot area for his use. Typically, there are about 10-12 residents, who each pay $5 per night to stay in the shelter.
This is short-term overnight shelter is generally limited to no more than 60 days. The two-month period allows adequate time for people to move into the transitional shelter program, secure employment or obtain other housing.
The new shower and renovated bathroom will make their stay at MCSA much nicer.