EUENGE, Ore. -- A well known church will get a new lease on life, and so will homeless families, thanks to the efforts of a Eugene charity.
Officials at St. Vincent de Paul announced the purchase of Crossfire Family Worship Center, 4060 W. Amazon Drive. The group says it will repurpose the building's sanctuary into 19 apartments for families without homes.
Paul Neville, spokesman for St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, said the purchase was made possible thanks to a $2 million donation from an anonymous donor.
"They offered to help us acquire the church and to get us started on pre-development and development costs," Neville said.
In addition to the apartments, Neville said, a day care program for children will be held in a different part of the building. The preschool program will offer trauma screenings and referrals to free treatment options, including services at the University of Oregon.
He said, on average, 3 percent of children who are screened show evidence of medical or emotional trauma. However, when it comes to children who grow up without a home, that number rises to 70 percent.
Some people who live near the future shelter said they welcome their new neighbors.
"I'm especially concerned about children and families," Margie Kirkpatrick, said. "Really helping families move forward in a healthy productive way."
Several neighbors said representatives from St. Vincent de Paul walked through the block introducing themselves and sharing their vision for the building.
However, some neighbors expressed concerns over general safety in relation to the number of families who will be living in the building. They said they hope it would not be an issue if those concerns are addressed by St. Vincent de Paul.
Neville said the entire project is expected to be complete by Spring of 2019.
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