This increased capital expenditures by $4,500,000. It gave larger and better facilities in all areas – kitchen, eating area, clothing store, food shelf, medical, dental, office, and elbowroom. The new Day Shelter opened in 1997. In 1998, the remodeling of the original day shelter was started. The ground floor was converted into a Teen Center with numerous wholesome activities, and the second floor was devoted to a children’s activity center for young children. The remodeling for this building cost $500,000 and was named Mary My Hope Children’s Center. In 2015 Mary My Hope Children Center was taken down to accommodate another Mary's Place expansion adding on the new teen/children center and eight more apartments. Our three building campus became a two building campus.
Mary Jo was and is the main fundraiser, the recruiter of volunteers and director of the shelter. Mary Jo has recruited church groups to buy, prepare, bring in and serve the noon meal each day. She has a different group for each day of the month. This system has been in place since the first days of Sharing and Caring Hands. Some of the original groups are still serving today.
So what does the future hold? Mary Jo subscribes to the philosophy expressed by Pope John XXIII, who considered himself the servant of the servants of God. Mary’s faith is wondrous to behold. Sometimes when she articulates her plans and desires, the Board of Directors caution her to go slowly. She responds with “God will provide,” and He does.