JAMESTOWN – A new women’s shelter is on the horizon in downtown Jamestown as part of an expansion to the city’s only homeless shelter.
The United Christian Advocacy Network, or UCAN for short, has supported the area’s homeless men since 2017 and now with the purchase of an old factory at 100 North Main Street, they are looking to expand their branches.
As Executive Director Jeff Rotunda explains, several services will be available, including things like food, beds, showers and even laundry.
“The biggest part is not just that, but the hand up,” says Rotunda.“So, we’re helping them to step out with all the different organizations here in this area, to help them move forward with whatever means necessary, and however they have come to us with what they are lacking, you know, to have a home.”
Rotunda explains that they try to get people back on their feet and break down negative stereotypes surrounding the homeless.
“I mean any one of us deserves that chance and opportunity, you know the big mistake that most people make is we’re all one choice away from being homeless, or losing our jobs, or losing our homes, and some of these guys are very well educated,” explains Rotunda.
He says his group isn’t trying to provide handouts, but a hand up.
“That is where we have also added a case worker to this program to help them move forward, and that has been a tremendous asset as well,” continued Rotunda.
Renovations are already underway on the million-dollar project. In addition to the basic housing, the mission is also going to build out classrooms and indoor playgrounds in the complex.
The hope is construction can be complete within a year, however because of material shortages work could take longer than expected.
The charitable organization is grateful for the community’s contributions thus far, and says anyone who is interested in helping out financially can learn more about donating online at UCANCityMission.org.