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Anderson woman on a mission to open a homeless center for Madison County

Posted: 6:47 PM, Sep 20, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-20 23:07:03Z

ANDERSON, Ind. -- An Anderson woman’s mission to help people experiencing homelessness in her community is on hold until she can submit the proper paperwork to the state.  

Pamela Stires has been working to fix up a home on Jackson Street in downtown Anderson for nearly a year where she will eventually open the Homeless Advocacy Center of Anderson and Madison County.

Stires said when she saw the empty home, she knew right away what she wanted to do – help people in her community.

“They sleep in garages, in the entrance way of Paramount, any dry place they can sleep,’ said Stires.

Since last November, Stires has been remodeling the home with help from her community. When it’s finished, it will house eight women and between 16 and 24 men for just $75 per week.

Stires says her clients will be required to go through treatment and apply for jobs while living at the center.

“They are going to have a job somewhere. You can pump gas, you can do something,” said Stires. “We are going to encourage them, build them up to work. Let them know how important it is that they do have a job. That helps their self-worth.”

In order to continue helping her clients, Stires says she’s been told to stop major remodeling on the home until she meets state and city requirements.

The City of Anderson says she needs to submit her plans to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security showing her remodeling plans meet all of their codes.

After that plan is approved, she will have to submit an application for a building permit to the City of Anderson.

“I love it, it’s not anything for me – so to speak – it’s hard, very hard. A lot of sleepless nights, but I love it, to see that I showed someone they had a chance and they got that chance,” said Stires.

Once remodeling on the home is allowed to continue, Stires says she needs help from the community – both volunteers and donations – to be able to open the shelter by the end of the year as planned.

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