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Church Volunteers Help Make 'Success House' a Success

ROCKFORD -- More than 3,000 Rockford residents are without a place to call home. Now, Carpenter's Place is working to get the homeless a new life, and it starts with new digs.
ROCKFORD -- More than 3,000 Rockford residents are without a place to call home. Now, Carpenter's Place is working to get the homeless a new life, and it starts with new digs.

Sanding, slathering on paint, and of course taking a few orders. It's all part of rennovating an apartment building on Douglas Street in Rockford.

"We have a lead carpenter that has come in and did a search of the entire property, and told us exactly what needs to be done," said Cathy Dulgar, Immanuel Lutheran-Belvidere.

But it's no ordinary home improvement project. There aren't professional painters. They're volunteers from Immanuel Lutheran, and they're working on a special assignment.

"It's very difficult to obtain and maintain a job while homeless," said Kay Larrick, Carpenter's Place Executive Director.

Which is why Carpenter's Place came up with a new project called "Success House."

There are four total units in the Douglas St. building that will house up to eight homeless men. All of them will be looking for a job or trying to maintain one.

"By layering on that housing, we think it's just a huge benefit and a real strong asset for increasing their likelihood of being successful," said Larrick.

But before they can move in, the building needs a few updates. That's where Immanuel and two other local churches stepped in.

"These folks at these churches are just amazing, and they make what we do so much easier," said Larrick. "They really are our partners in success, I mean we couldn't do it without them."

But the volunteers say they are the ones who really benefit.

"When you serve, when you have the opportunity to help somebody else not only are you feeding them, but you're feeding yourself," Dulgar said.

The goal is to have the building move-in ready by the end of March.







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