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Thursday October 18, 2018

keys to hope back at old location

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 14:54 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

The homeless in Michigan City are returning to their old stomping grounds for doing laundry and others things like showering.

Keys to Hope after an August 27 fire is returning Thursday to its permanent location at 1802 Franklin St.

The doors will open at 8 a.m.

The agency has been functioning at the Grace Learning Center at 1007 W. 8th St. but space restrictions forced some services like showering and laundry into other facilities like nearby First Presbyterian Church.

''It was kind of peace meal but we were able to provide regular hours,'' said Jim Musial, director of Citizens Concerned for the Homeless, the parent organization of Keys to Hope.

Only a few punch list items need completing for the building to be fully restored.

Musial said the chaos of moving and reaching clients on the streets about the new temporary location, eventually, subsided.

People lost on where to go began showing up again in numbers similar to the 30 to 50 visitors seen per day prior to the fire.

''We would have just a handful of participants but as time went on they got back into the swing of things,'' said Musial.

The not-for-profit Keys to Hope founded in 2014 also provides space for people to store their belongings and help securing a home along with employment.

Computers are also made available to assist people with getting back on their feet.

Musial said damage was less than $100,000 but insurance covered much of the rebuilding costs.

Fund raisers also helped in the recovery.

The cause of the fire was blamed on a lit cigarette tossed into a planter in front of the single story structure.

For now, the operating hours will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday but the plan is to go back to original 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekday schedule once things ramp back up, said Musial.
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