New Grace Place facility opens its doors Saturday morning
After many months of construction, cleaning and moving, the new location for the St. Croix County Salvation Army’s Grace Place facility will open its doors in New Richmond during a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11.
“I am so excited for the ribbon cutting that I can’t even describe it,” said Salvation Army Development Director Angela Moulton. “I think about all the kids who are staying at the Somerset location right now; they have been my motivation for finishing this project. It means they can be kids and families again since they will have enough space now to heal. I can’t wait to see their faces when they come in and see the new location for the first time.”
The ribbon cutting ceremony will include the American Legion Color Guard as well as tours of the new facility following the ceremony. The new site is located at 505 W. Eighth St. The Grace Place staff is inviting the public to take a tour and see the work many volunteers and donors have done to help the homeless families in our community.
“Right now we are doing a final cleaning of the whole building while some of the final touches are being added,” Moulton said. “There are some small things that still need to be done, but we will be ready for the grand opening for sure.”
The Grace Place shelter opened its doors to the community 13 years ago this November in Somerset. Grace Place has served as a temporary home for many St. Croix County families who needed emergency shelter. However, an increase of 47 percent has been noted and more than 100 families had to be turned away in the last year, prompting the need to consider expanding to meet the community and space needs.
Work began on the new building almost immediately after the facility was donated to the Salvation Army by Presbyterian Homes in order to convert the new space into a home for homeless families needing temporary shelter. The new facility can house up to 64 individuals. Throughout the summer, volunteers helped with a variety of projects at the new building and contributed over 7,000 hours of volunteer time to completely renovate the building.
“The volunteers are the ones who made this project possible,” Moulton said. “I am thankful, humbled and honored to have had so many people from the New Richmond community, as well as the surrounding communities, come out and volunteer their time to help us be ready for this grand opening. Whether it was just an hour or longer, every volunteer was appreciated and they are the ones who made this a reality.”
To celebrate the grand opening, the Grace Place crew and volunteers have planned a weekend of events that is open to the public, including a spaghetti dinner on Friday, Oct. 10, from 5-7:30 p.m. at Ready Randy’s in New Richmond, as well as a Relay Walk/Run from the old Grace Place in Somerset to the new location in New Richmond on Saturday, Oct. 11.
“We will be really excited to have just one person make the run from the old place to the new one because it is a really symbolic thing that speaks to us making the move from Somerset to New Richmond,” Moulton said. “The party to celebrate finishing the project will be really fun too. There will hopefully be hundreds of people there who helped with the renovations as well as community members and I hope there are a lot of stories shared about the experiences everyone had while helping out with the project. We all deserve to have a party after all the hard work we put in.”
The dinner is a free will offering with the proceeds benefiting the Grace Place shelter. Information on the Run/Walk, which covers 10 miles between the two locations, is available at sagraceplace. org. Those interested in the Run/Walk can register the morning of the event at the Somerset Grace Place location. Registration begins at 7 a.m., with the run beginning at 8 a.m. A kiddie run will take place at the New Richmond location at 10 a.m. that morning.