'Y' shelter given second extension on St. John's site
The Fargo-Moorhead YWCA has received more good news about its plans for a new emergency shelter. Officials at Prairie St. John's have for the second time extended the shelter's stay at the River's Edge location. YWCA Executive Directo...
The Fargo-Moorhead YWCA has received more good news about its plans for a new emergency shelter.
Officials at Prairie St. John's have for the second time extended the shelter's stay at the River's Edge location.
YWCA Executive Director Marcia Paulson said the shelter will be allowed to stay there until Dec. 31, 2003. That will give YWCA officials time to build a new shelter. Plans for that already are being made.
This is the second time Prairie at St. John's has given the shelter more time.
The shelter moved into the building in summer 2001 after problems with mold forced closing of its north Fargo location. Prairie St. John's, a psychiatric hospital, told the YWCA it would have to move out by May 31 because the building was being converted for a possible hospitalization program. But after the Prairie at St. John's board got letters in support of the YWCA, it decided to hold off on changes to the building.
In April, the Prairie at St. John's board gave the YWCA a one-year reprieve from eviction, giving the organization a deadline of April 30, 2003. In August, the YWCA decided it would build a new shelter. YWCA officials approached Prairie at St. John's, which agreed immediately to extend the time the shelter could stay there, Paulson said.
Marshall Korman, chief executive officer of Prairie at St. John's, said he asked Paulson for a worst-case scenario -- the longest the shelter would need to stay where it is -- and she told him Dec. 31, 2003.
Korman consulted with his board, which agreed not only to the extension but also to do some preventive maintenance on the building's mechanical system.
"We feel good, being a Catholic hospital, that we're doing the right thing," Korman said.
Paulson called the extension "extremely crucial. As we were fast approaching April, we worked all summer trying to locate a building or a bare piece of land that would meet the long-term needs of the YWCA shelter program. You just can't plop a shelter down anywhere in this town."
The new extension means the YWCA won't need a short-term, temporary home for the shelter while its new building is under construction.
Paulson said the YWCA hopes to have that new building open by Thanksgiving 2003. "It's a very aggressive timeline," she said.
A site has been picked, but the deal hasn't been closed so Paulson wouldn't say where the shelter will be. She said the project cost will be substantial, although since the building isn't yet designed she didn't know exactly what that would be.
She said the new shelter will feature community rooms with separate entrances.
"We're moving real quickly," Paulson said. "(There is) a lot of stuff to do in 10 months."
Korman said Prairie at St. John's still intends to remodel the building for use as a partial hospitalization facility for mentally ill and chemically dependent people. He described it as a "day hospital," which would provide treatment but not inpatient care.
That facility should be ready by spring 2004, he said.
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