Life House, a shelter for women, in Huntington, will open its doors on June 1.
The shelter is a ministry of New Life Fellowship Church, also in Huntington, and the church's pastor says it fills a need in the area while helping the church fulfill a long-term goal.
"Just last week I made a call down to Muncie at the Y," says Rev. Jimi Staton of New Life Fellowship. "They have 60 beds; they were completely full. I called Marion. They have 10 beds; they were completely full. Called Cara's House in Fort Wayne. They hold 40 to 50, depends on what programs they're using, but they told me they were completely full."
It was a series of phone calls that reinforced Staton's belief that northeast Indiana was in need of another women's shelter.
Plans for the shelter had been in the works for years. A soup kitchen, women's shelter, men's shelter and an orphanage were a part of New Life's vision for the ministries it would offer to the community. The soup kitchen opened in 2007 and the formation of Life House crosses another ministry off that list.
"That's what it is; I think it's just part of our church vision," says Staton.
Life House offers 10 beds and three different programs.
The Emergency Shelter program provides a temporary place for women who need shelter, food and safety. Shelter and meals will be offered for up to three days.
The Step Up program provides an extended stay, lasting 30 to 60 days. In this program, women will enroll in classes that strengthen their work skills and help them make better decisions. Finding a job is a major priority.
The Fresh Start program allows for a three to 12-month stay and focuses on a woman's personal rehabilitation just as much as her professional rehabilitation.
Carla Staton is the Life House director. Volunteers will fill out the shelter's staff and Staton hopes to be able to hire an assistant director. The Life House board of directors consists of four members from New Life Fellowship and three members from outside the church.
Staton praises the businesses and individuals who have donated goods and services to the house, positioning it for its June 1 open house.
Residents will start being accepted on June 3.
Life House is located at 406 Byron St., Huntington. For more information, call 519-1664 or visit www. womenslifehouse.com.