Sixth Street Shelter expansion outlined
Allentown's Sixth Street Shelter Director Jessica R. Dreistadt hosted local supporters, community leaders, volunteers and donors to unveil a new, in-progress expansion of the homeless family shelter at 221 - 223 N. Sixth St., Allentown.
When construction is complete, expected to happen in October, five apartments will be added to the existing 20 apartments in the building operated by Sixth Street Shelter.
The Sixth Street Shelter serves 120 families per year, according to Dreistadt.
Habitat for Humanity provided some of the volunteer labor for the project. Other help came from the First Presbyterian Church of Allentown and Sons of a Carpenter. The volunteers started work on the project in May.
Deb Cummins, the Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity for the Lehigh Valley, said at the June 11 event that helping build the shelter will contribute to her organization's "global mission of eradicating poverty and homelessness."
Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, Inc. (CACLV) purchased the site for the expansion in December 2010. A building, which had structural deficiencies, was demolished, to make way for an expansion of the shelters apartments.
A fundraising campaign raised $800,000 for the expansion.
"Families served by the shelter are given support services as part of a 60-day program to help those families resolve their crises and reestablish stability in their lives," said Dreistadt.
Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski said that the expansion is part of Allentown's commitment to "end homelessness," but noted reaching that goal has a "long way to go."
The Sixth Street Shelter is the largest shelter for families with children in the region. The addition is expected to help an additional 30 families per year.
Jerdon Construction Services, LLC is the general contractor for the project. Company President Ron Jerdon said he is contributing some free labor to the project.