Mary’s Place expands to help more families

| August 13, 2014 | 0 Comments
A two-story addition to Sharing and Caring Hands’ Mary’s Place shelter in downtown Minneapolis will include eight family-size transitional apartments, a teen and children’s center and a playground. Construction is expected to begin later this month. Graphic courtesy of Cuningham Group Architecture, Inc.

A two-story addition to Sharing and Caring Hands’ Mary’s Place shelter in downtown Minneapolis will include eight family-size transitional apartments, a teen and children’s center and a playground. Construction is expected to begin later this month. Graphic courtesy of Cuningham Group Architecture, Inc.

Mary Jo Copeland plans to retire “when I get to heaven.”

Until then, the founder of Sharing and Caring Hands said her reverence for Jesus and his people is keeping her at the work she began in 1985, including the latest project, just approved by the Minneapolis Planning Commission and by the city council.

Work should begin around Aug. 25 for additional transitional housing for families and a new teen center and playground at Sharing and Caring Hands’ Mary’s Place, Copeland said.

The shelter in the shadow of Target Field in Minneapolis is building a two-story addition and demolishing an existing older structure to make room for the new construction and the playground.

Eight family-size apartments are planned for the second floor of the addition, according to the architect, David Engleson of Cuningham Group Architecture, Inc., and the main floor will accommodate the teen center and children’s area for use by those living at Mary’s Place.

The existing teen center is “failing structurally,” Engleson said, and has become too expensive to maintain.

“The project will remove an eyesore of an old building right where people enter into downtown Minneapolis and replace it with a playground area for the children,” Engleson noted.

Unused parking spaces on the property will be eliminated as part of an effort to upgrade the entrance to the shelter.

More important, the project puts a roof over the heads of a few more of the families who are in need.

More than 1,200 families sought housing at Sharing and Caring Hands in 2013, but the current facilities were only able to house 374 of those families.

It’s what keeps Copeland going.

“I have a reverence for Jesus and his people,” she told The Catholic Spirit. “I think what drives me is just really to please Our Lord and do his holy will.”

Tags: , , ,

Category: Featured, Local News