Genesis Garden to open family shelter in Macomb

MACOMB, Ill. (NEWS3) — Genesis Garden is about a month away from opening a family shelter in Macomb.

Genesis Garden is a non-profit organization with a mission to share food, provide shelter, and empower community. It was formed in 2012 to help families who were left homeless after a trailer home park fire that killed children in 2011 in Macomb.

It will be an ADA-compliant shelter for up to four families. It will be located at 307 East Carroll Street.

It will be a two-floor house with five bedroom spaces, three bathrooms, kitchen, dining room, and a large backyard with a deck.  The first floor will include a ramp to a bedroom and bathroom for handicap accessibility.

Genesis Garden Executive Director John Curtis said the house will be a place for people to live who are homeless.

“This summer we were getting calls every week for families that were looking for shelter,” Curtis said.

Curtis said since 2015, the building has been under construction. Curtis said hundreds of volunteers have helped work on the house. He said that includes tearing down walls. The house also has a new roof.

“There are a lot of people who find themselves in a homeless situation,” Curtis said. “I want this to be a real home for somebody in a place they really feel supported and safe.”

Curtis said its the only family shelter in the immediate area.

“Having a place where people can go to as a family unit when they’re in that moment of need I think is a valuable resource,” Macomb Community Development Coordinator John Bannon said.

“We want to create that support network,” Curtis said. “We want this shelter to be a place the community really comes together.”

Various community donations have helped pay for the shelter’s construction.

Curtis said the enrollment process to live at the shelter will be on a first-come-first-serve basis. The qualifications are still being worked out.

Curtis expects construction to be complete by December. An open house is set for Dec. 6. The hope is to move in families in January.

Link to Genesis Garden