The city of Anniston and United Way of East Central Alabama are creating Martha’s Hope: The Martha Vandervoort Center to End Homelessness.
The center is in honor of the late Martha Vandervoort, who was the director of Interfaith Ministries for the United Way of East Central Alabama. The facility will provide emergency and transitional housing for men, women and families experiencing temporary or chronic homelessness in Calhoun County.
In 2019, the only emergency shelter in Calhoun County closed. In 2021, a task force was established to identify community partners the city of Anniston could work with to establish a new shelter. From 2022 to 2023, the number of chronically homeless in Calhoun County has increased from 68 to 111.
Funding for the center is being provided by the city of Anniston, United Way and individual donations. Donations can be made by visiting: www.uweca.org/support-marthas-hope.
This shelter, located at 1411 Gurnee Avenue in Anniston, will house 36 individuals and includes two family suites. In addition, the facility will include a transitional living floor named for Maudine Holloway, who serves as director of community enabler developer. This transitional floor will be able to house up to 40 individuals, including two family units.
In addition to the space, assistance will be provided by licensed social workers. Individuals also will be connected to resources and opportunities. Construction is now getting started on the center.