Five West Side Lowe’s employees crowded a 450-square-foot room, some painting the walls while others installed kitchen cabinets doors Thursday morning.
The small group spent part of the week renovating one of the transitional housing apartments at United Caring Services.
Every year, Lowe’s stores across the country complete a Lowe’s Hero project in their local communities. This year, the West Side Evansville Lowe’s wanted to help renovate one of the transitional housing apartments at United Caring Services, which offers a variety of services such as a day shelter, night shelter, women’s shelters and transitional housing.
The apartment received new kitchen cabinets, counter tops, appliances (including a full-size stove and oven), fresh paint, light fixtures and hardwood flooring.
United Caring Services Director of Operations Bob Shaner said the 21-room transitional housing apartments need to be updated.
Most people who stay at the apartments take care of the rooms, but sometimes it’s difficult for others.
“It’s tough to go from being homeless to having a place to live,” Shaner said.
United Caring Services Executive Director Jason Emmerson said the goal is to move the apartments into more stable housing. He would like to see all 21 apartments renovated within the two years.
“We’re looking at the program and the apartments … to determine what the city needs and what we can best utilize these apartments,” Emmerson said.
They’re looking to make the apartments a more “stable solution,” he said.
“It is their home,” Emmerson said about the residents. “We want somebody … to take pride in it, like any homeowner.”
Brian Commens, one of the workers who serves as a freight flow manager at Lowe’s, said Lowe’s employees vote on what project they want to conquer for the Hero project every year.
“We felt like this one was the most worthwhile,” he said.
In addition to renovating the room, Lowe’s will a large amount of bottled water. And in partnership with a Posey County Church, Lowe’s will give United Caring Services with more than 3,000 rolls of toilet paper.
“Lowe’s likes to give back to the community,” Commens said.
Overall, the renovations has been seamless. A few of Lowe’s vendors donated material for the renovations while others came to help.
“Every time I come in and ask if they need help, they tell me they got it,” Shaner said.
People who want to help United Caring Services can donate money at 324 NW Sixth Street, Evansville, Indiana, 47708, or donate material for room renovations. People can also call 812-422-0297 to find other ways they can help the shelter.