Left, PBMR’s newly purchased house; right, Joaquise King and Dashaun Hammoc work on renovating the house; contributed photos.
Just over a year ago, Precious Blood Sister Donna Liette — along with Father David Kelly, CPPS, and six women affiliated with the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation — appeared on the premiere episode of Megyn Kelly TODAY on NBC. During the program, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage and Ace Hardware surprised Sister Donna with significant financial donations.
Now, thanks to those donations, PBMR has purchased a house on 51st Street — right across the street from the center, which offers a number of ministries for youth and families in Chicago’s embattled south side neighborhoods. The newly acquired house will serve as short-term emergency housing for those facing homelessness. The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless estimates that 80,384 people were homeless in Chicago in 2016.
Young men affiliated with the center are working with construction crews to learn valuable skills as the long-abandoned building is renovated.
“Not only are the young men learning new skills, but they work side by side with men who have years of experience with rehabbing houses. These men can help mentor the young men in life skills, as well as in rehabbing old buildings,” Father David said. “It is great to hear our young men talk about the fact that they are building up their community and restoring these boarded-up houses.”
On Oct. 14, the Taco Fiesta Fall Fundraiser brought the community together for Mass, music and food. Attendees were also able to see the center’s silk screening and carpentry shops in action, visit the center’s gardens, and carefully tour the new house in its rehabbing process.
“It will be a great day when the house is ready to open and offer short-term shelter and services to those who are seeking to restore their lives and know healing and hope,” Sister Donna said.
– Story by Mary Knapke