The check was awarded during the Community Development Block Grant Award Session held in Peachtree City, Ga.
Awarded to the Voluntary Action Center (VAC) for renovations and construction to the VAC’s campus, the VAC is a privately owned Non-Profit Organization which operates under the guidance of a Board of Directors.
Because the VAC is privately owned Community Affairs required the endorsement of Gordon County to be eligible to request CDBG Funding.
In a public hearing held on October 2 the Gordon County Board of Commissioners approved and accepedt the award on behalf of the VAC and the county will oversee the grant process as required by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
With the grant money, the front parking lot will be rehabilitated to correct flooding and drainage issues as well as make the front parking more accessible to those with disabilities. The existing office will be demolished to construct a new office, which will make the front parking lot renovations possible.
An existing building will be renovated to house a training room, which will offer a wide variety of free classes covering areas such as computers, money management, nutrition, child care, and self-sufficiency.
The biggest change will be the construction of a Homeless Day Shelter, which will provide washers and dryers as well as shower facilities.
With the addition of the homeless day shelter, the VAC hopes to achieve its goal of helping to provide individuals and families with a fresh start toward being self-sufficient.
The ultimate goal of the day shelter is to help individuals become job interview ready. For those who are homeless or living in conditions without electricity or running water a shower and clean clothes are luxuries. Clients will be able to eat, shower, shave, and have clean clothes. These are the first steps to helping someone obtain employment, which ultimately leads to permanent housing and stability for their families.
“The VAC has been providing emergency services since 1971. Our programs and services continue to change to meet our clients’ needs over the years. The one thing has hasn’t changed is how the residents of Gordon County always reach out in support of their neighbors. That’s why we were founded and that’s why we’re still here,” said VAC Director, Stacy Long.
Currently, the VAC still has several administrative processes to complete before submitting bids for construction of the new facilities, according to Long.
During the slower December months, the VAC plans to close their offices Dec. 10 until Jan. 7, leaving only the community kitchen and the thrift shop open. Temporarily, administrative offices will be moved to the basement of the thrift shop, according to Long, who says all dates at this point are tentative and could possibly change.
“It’s (The entrance) around back, on Park Street, underneath the thrift store, where everything will relocate to temporarily,” said Long. “Signs will be up and we will be broadcasting on the radio…Even if it’s not until February, we have time in December, so we need to take advantage of it.”
The VAC is located at 343 South Wall St in Calhoun.