A Wayne County ministry that furnishes homes soon will be homeless.

St. Vincent de Paul must vacate its storage space at Richmond State Hospital because the building was deemed unsafe.

President Tony Talbert said they must find a new location by June 6, or the ministry will have to shut down after 22 years.

The timing isn’t ideal. St. Vincent de Paul ordered 100 children’s beds just before learning it would need to move. It gave away 142 kids’ beds last year.

Although remaining in Richmond would be preferable, Talbert said the board is open to moving outside the city if needed. They currently use about 5,000 square feet, but they could scale down operations to about 3,000 square feet.

Donated space would be greatly appreciated, but some funds are available to pay rent if needed.

Volunteers would need to be able to access the building every other Saturday for furniture giveaways and on an emergency basis as well.

Clients are encouraged to pick up their furniture if possible, but deliveries are made when needed.

The foam mattresses are rolled up, so they can be transported in a car.

St. Vincent de Paul also provides bedbug covers and linens when possible. Local Catholic churches are purchasing sheets and pillows during Lent.

The ministry helps those starting over for various reasons, such as bedbugs, fires, domestic violence or rehabilitation.

Once volunteers make a connection with clients about furniture, Talbert said their overall needs can be assessed to determine how they can be helped in a more comprehensive way.

They’re “getting toward the finishing line” of opening a social services center at the former coin-operated laundry in the 1000 block of South E Street in Richmond. A few projects remain before the renovation is complete.

Talbert said they want to change lives by helping people get out of poverty. They’ll offer an 18-week course, followed by mentorship for two years.

While the ministry is mostly a local Catholic initiative, some of its volunteers aren’t Catholic, Talbert said. Additional volunteers and churches who want to help those in need are welcome.

To suggest a new location for St. Vincent de Paul’s furniture ministry, or to volunteer or receive donated items, call 937-993-3687.

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A version of this article appeared in the March 22 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.