For the past four years the Crestview Area Shelter for the Homeless operated out of a three-bedroom building courtesy of First United Methodist Church. The faith-based, nonprofit organization eventually outgrew the building as it started seeing 30-50 people a day.
CRESTVIEW — Ann Sprague’s concern for the homeless is evident by the emotion in her voice.
“They’re human beings,” Sprague said. “Everybody has worth.”
Sprague is the president of the Crestview Area Shelter for the Homeless, or CASH.
For the past four years the shelter operated out of a three-bedroom building courtesy of First United Methodist Church. The faith-based, nonprofit organization eventually outgrew the building as it started seeing 30-50 people a day.
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 at 120 Duggan Ave. for the shelter to 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 so CASH could move into a building more suitable for its work.
Sprague called the act gracious.
“God answers prayers,” she said. “My vision was land, his vision was that ‘Hey, you need this now.’ ”
CASH moved into the new building a few weeks ago. It has 12 bedrooms, a large kitchen and two sets of washers and dryers to help the organization meet the needs of the homeless.
For now, the building is used only as a 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 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 looking for volunteers to help with things such as transportation and sorting donations. Donations such as gift cards, groceries, toiletries and paper products are also needed.
“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.