The clouds parted Wednesday for Brooks House supporters and volunteers to break ground on a new expansion.
But as director Liz Reese said, “God is always on time.”
The 1,500-square-foot addition to the homeless shelter for women and children in Lebanon will add five more bedrooms, a new dining and multi-purpose room, a kitchen, bathrooms, a laundry room and needed storage space to the existing facility. The addition will increase Brooks House’s capacity to house 25-30 women and children.
“When we started this journey back in 2006, we had no idea that we would be expanding and be able to do what we do and be supported by you, the community,” Reese said. “Brooks House belongs to this community.
“What we have done is remarkable. We take women in, and we give women a chance to get a hand up, not a hand out. If they are looking for a handout, they are in the wrong place.”
About 150 community members, leaders, volunteers, board members and Brooks House residents joined Reese for the event.
“It’s an exciting time for Brooks House,” said board chair Bucky Hesson. “About three years ago, tomorrow actually, we had our note burning for this building. So we immediately knew we had other needs, and we started working toward that.
“For some of us on the board, it’s hard to believe this day has finally come, but it has and we are grateful for that.”
Since 2007, Brooks House has provided temporary shelter to more than 380 women and children and helped transition these families into permanent housing, and the new addition will help the organization serve even more Wilson County women and children.
“It was a fantastic day. I thank everyone for coming out and supporting Brooks House,” Reese said. “It’s rewarding to know we can move forward with this expansion.”
Donations, volunteers and other items are needed for the expansion at 219 Virginia Ave. Visit brookshouse.org for more information or contact Reese at 615-444-8882.