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Catholic Charities dedicates new facility

Catholic Charities held a dedication and blessing Monday for its new office space at the old St. Stephen’s church on 10th and Grand Avenue. The archbishop of Denver, Charles J. Chaput, did the blessing of the building with readings of scripture. Then Chaput prayed over the building and sprinkled holy water to finish the dedication ceremony. “It was a big deal for him to come here for something like this,” said Tom Ziemann, executive director for Catholic Charities.”We recognized the contractors that extended a reduction in their fees and services. And we acknowledged the volunteers that gave their time, effort, and labor,” Ziemann said. “We wanted to thank the numerous individual donors, but there are just too many to mention.” The building was purchased in November 2004, and renovations began in October 2005.Major grantors for the renovation project include The Catholic Foundation, The Gates Family Foundation, the Quick Family Foundation and the El Pomar Foundation. The building will include offices for five service agencies: The Salvation Army, LIFT-UP, Feed my Sheep Ministry, Congregation and Schools Empowered (CASE), and Catholic Charities’ home office for the Western Slope. After the dedication, visitors were given a tour to see how the organizations will use the space. Catholic Charities focuses on programs that help individuals and families in need of transitional housing or emergency financial assistance, and also has specific programs for immigrant families. At the new building, Catholic Charities can work together with the other charities more efficiently to achieve their individual and collaborative goals. “It’s been a real help to the homeless,” said Caroline Spencer, who has found a new home for the Feed My Sheep Ministry Service for the Homeless in the basement of the new building. “These services used to be scattered all over Glenwood Springs, so having them in one place makes it easier for the people who need our help,” she said. For the past two years, Feed My Sheep has operated out of a room at the Silver Spruce Motel on Sixth Street in Glenwood Springs. Spencer didn’t even have an office. “My office was at my house,” Spencer said. “We had a triple room at the motel. We took out the beds and made it into a makeshift lounge.” Now, Spencer has an office of her own and the new facilities have more to offer the homeless than did a few rooms at a motel. The new facilities include a kitchen, dining room, computer room, two conversation rooms, as well as pingpong and pool tables. “We are in the basement of the building, but the space is great,” Spencer said. “We just love it. The space meets all of our needs. We (and the other services) are all getting along just fine; it’s been a real positive move for all of us.”


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