United Methodist Children's Home gives Crestview Area Shelter for the Homeless a new building on Duggan Avenue to help with overflow.

CRESTVIEW — Ann Sprague’s concern for the homeless is evident by the emotion in her voice when you speak to her about it.

“They’re human beings,” Sprague said. “Everybody has worth.”

Sprague is the president of the Crestview Area Shelter for the Homeless, or CASH as it is often referred to.

For the last four years, the shelter was operating out of a three-bedroom building given to them by the First United Methodist Church. The faith-based, non-profit organization eventually outgrew the building as they started seeing 30-50 people on a daily basis.

Sprague began looking for land to build a new shelter, but United Methodist Children's Home Executive Director Tracey Williams had other plans. Williams offered a bigger building, located at 120 Duggan Avenue, to the shelter for use.

“We had been using it to ramp up other programs and we had staff working out of that area,” Williams said. “We had a huge building we weren’t really making use of and when I saw the building (CASH) were using, I couldn’t believe it.”

Williams decided to find a smaller facility for her staff to use, so CASH could move into a building more suitable for their work.

Sprague called the act gracious.

“God answers prayers,” Sprague said. “My vision was land, his vision was that ‘Hey you need this now.’”

The new CASH building has 12 bedrooms, a large kitchen and two sets of washers and dryers to help the organization meet the needs of the homeless.

CASH moved into the new building a few weeks ago. Currently, the building is a only being used as an open day shelter on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 

The shelter also provides services such as helping people to get identification, find affordable housing or get to doctor's appointments.

Sprague hopes to have the shelter running at full capacity and open at least four days a week within the next couple months.

The shelter is in the process of finding volunteers to help with things such as transportation to the doctor appointments and sorting donations. Those who may not be physically able to help are asked to donate items such gift cards for food, groceries, toiletries and paper products.

“It takes a group of helpers,” Sprague said. “I couldn’t do it without them.”

The shelter is an easier way for people to get help, rather than panhandling on the streets. Sprague said that she doesn’t agree with panhandling because many do it for their addiction to drugs and alcohol.

“Give them a hamburger or bottle of water, but don’t give them cash,” Sprague said. “Bring your cash to us, so that we can spend it on them legitimately.”

A meeting will be held at the shelter at 3 p.m. Aug. 4 for anyone interested in volunteering.