LACONIA — With the smell of homemade lasagna wafting up the stairs, volunteers from the Mountainview Church in Sanbornton painted a new room at the Carey House homeless shelter, which will now be able to house an additional family.
According to former deacon Wayne Blackey, church members do volunteer work year long but recently decided to do another program and called it "40 Days of Community."
"Amanda (Lewis) is part of our small group and our service project was to redo this room," Blackey said.
Other "40 Days of Community" projects included cleaning a recent widow's yard in Sanbornton, providing meals for a woman who recently had surgery and hosting a baby shower for a woman with no family.
Lewis is the Carey House director. She works with various local social service programs and provides temporary housing for the homeless. With the additional family room, Lewis said they can now house four families, 14 individual men, and six women.
The new room can house a small family of three and used to be Lewis's office. She said she moved downstairs and the Mountainview Church redid all of the electricity and communications systems with Monday's night's painting and homemade dinner being the final chapter.
She said one of the former tenants donated some bedroom furniture and the house will be working with Ippolito's Furniture of Meredith with getting mattresses.
"They have helped us in the past and we are very grateful to them," Lewis said.
Owned and operation by the Salvation Army, the Carey House is the only year-round homeless shelter for people in the Lakes Region, although the new, seasonal Belknap House is scheduled to open sometime this winter.
Carey House is a sober and drug free home and it's mission is to provide temporary housing for people while they get back on their feet.
"Unless they're coming back to say "hello," we hope they don't ever have to come back," she said.
"Recently, one of our men was able to get his own apartment," Lewis said, noting how proud everyone was of him.
Lewis said that with the cold weather, the demand for Carey House services increases and they have recently had to turn away a lot of people.
"I imagine that this new room will be filled within a few days of us finishing it," Lewis said.
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