For many years, our strategic plan has included the prospect of a second shelter facility so that we can expand our capacity to help more of our neighbors in need. In the spring of 2020, when the COVID crisis began, we anticipated devastating economic repercussions for many in our community. Even before eviction courts reopened in September, we were already receiving an influx of calls from local families and individuals in need of shelter.
In April 2020, we began actively exploring ways we could expand our capacity to accommodate more people and help them through these challenging times. After many months of discussions and planning, we entered into a contract to purchase the building at 109 Goldsborough Street, directly next door to Easton’s Promise.
A large part of the success of our S4 Program (Shelter, Stability, Support, Success) thus far has been due to our unique shelter facility at Easton’s Promise. Both its homey atmosphere and its location in the center of town give guests an immediate sense of dignity and confidence, and let them know that they are valued members of our community.
We visited several locations in our search for a new facility, and are thrilled to have found another such property in 109 Goldsborough Street, where guests will have a home and a sense of belonging. With seven bedrooms, three full baths, a kitchen, meeting space, in-house laundry facilities and more, this is a perfect setting for guests to regain stability as they work towards earning a place in one of our off-site transitional apartments. It is our intention for 109 Goldsborough Street to focus on single men and women, while Easton’s Promise will become a families-only facility.
Appropriately, on November 17, 2020, during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, we went before the Easton Board of Zoning Appeals (BOZA) to request a permit to operate at this new facility. BOZA voted unanimously to allow us to expand our services into 109 Goldsborough Street.
We were fortunate that Easton’s Promise came with a name befitting the work that was done inside. Dozens of supporters from across the community submitted suggestions to name our new building, and more than 1,000 people voted for the winner, Evelyn’s Place, an homage to our founder, Evelyn Sedlack.
On January 26th, 2021, we finalized the purchase of this new property, and on June 6, 2022 (our Executive Director Julie Lowe’s birthday), we opened our doors to guests for the first time. Within three weeks, every bed was filled with a local man or woman beginning their journey to self-sufficiency through the S4 Program.