By Portia Williams
The Sojourner House (TSH), a transitional living house for women located at 1702 Highland Ave. in Portsmouth, is in the process of getting a new look. According to Carmen Josey, TSH director, a $5,000 grant from Home Depot, allowed staff of TSH to purchase vinyl siding for the home, which was greatly needed.
TSH operates under a 501c3, enabling them to seek out and utilize grant funding for programs and or necessities for the facility.
“The house is close to 100 years old, and it was in disarray, and we need to get some vinyl siding,” Josey said. “So, we wrote a grant to Home Depot, and they were gracious enough to give us a grant to buy all of the vinyl siding and materials needed to refurbish, and give the house a face lift. We are just so grateful to them for what they have done.”
The grant from Home Depot is applied to materials only, and not for labor. Josey said many volunteers came to their rescue to apply the vinyl siding purchased. The residents and volunteers of TSH began the project of applying the siding to the home about three weeks ago, and is expected to be completed some time next week, according to Josey.
“We also greatly appreciate all of the volunteers that have come over and helped, especially to Andre Sappeington for all of the work he has done, he and Mark Blythe,” she said. “I don’t know what I would have done without them. Also, to New Beginnings for bringing their guys down one day, it was really a big, big start, and to Mr. Phillips of ANH Roofing has been a tremendous help to this project.”
She said the improvements should make the home much more comfortable for the women who reside there.
“The house has been insulated, with the vinyl siding, and I think that is going to make a very big difference when the winter season comes in keeping the women warmer than it has been in the winter time,”she said.
She said the program is continuing to progress, and will soon have the next round of graduates at the end of the month.
“We are looking to have another graduation for two of our residents, possibly at the end of October, or the beginning of November,” she said.”One of our residents will be moving back home to the Ironton area, and the other will remain here in Portsmouth. The women have been amazing, and we truly thank God for them. They do such an amazing job in keeping the house up internally, and of course a big thank you to Darlene Blythe, my assistant director, I couldn’t do it without her. We are just grateful, it is definitely nothing that we could do alone, and it is all because of what God has provided.”
She also said two churches that have made contributions to the work at TSH is Dry Run Church of Christ, and Pleasant Green Baptist Church, which they are truly grateful for as well.
TSH hosts a weekly Bible study on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. which is open to all. Monetary donations can be made to TSH by visiting Desco Credit Union and make a payment to The Sojourner House.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.
Staff, volunteers and residents of The Sojourner House working on the vinyl siding project at the home
located at 1702 Highland Ave. in Portsmouth on Wednesday.