A couple hundred Kenosha area residents turned out Thursday to pat themselves on the back: They were among those who helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to allow the Shalom Center to purchase a vacant office building and turn it into a soup kitchen and homeless shelter.
The new building on 39th Ave. means that area churches will no longer have to take turns housing the homeless, and will enable Shalom to abandon its aging and cramped homeless shelter and soup kitchen in a former school building in the uptown area.
"This community has opened its heart and wallet to offer a hand to those in need," said former Kenosha County Executive John Collins, who chaired the Shalom Center's building committee and emceed Thursday's ribbon-cutting ceremony. "We are here to celebrate the generosity of the Kenosha community," he said.
The event also featured the unveiling of a plaque that dedicates the building to the Shalom Center's founder, Greta Hansen. She died in 2014.