Volunteers are coming out of the woodwork, literally, to prepare the Omega Project Women’s Shelter in time for a generous donation.

Kansas Electric, out of Hesston, has donated materials and labor for a blitz build in the middle of October, so project leaders are working to prepare the build site in time.

“That’s several thousands of dollars worth of donations, so we’re trying to have everything ready for them to do that in October,” said David Case, founder of the Omega Project. “Part of the problem is that they have a number of contracts coming up in the winter, so for them to do a volunteer day like that, they need to do it before winter. We’ve been building by cash, so now we need to get things ready by that date.”

To prepare, project leaders are inviting groups of volunteers to complete chunks of projects over the next few months.

On Monday, students from Central Christian College of Kansas completed a flooring job on the second story.

“We had a lot of heavy lumber to move so it was an excellent day for these younger muscles to be available to carry stuff upstairs,” Case said, “The support we have from this community is truly amazing and it’s not found other places.”

In 2016, the Omega Project purchased a property at 201 S. Chestnut St. in McPherson that was once a church. Renovations have included the construction of a second floor in what was the large sanctuary space.

“The first floor will be a temporary shelter for women and children. We’re not a long-term shelter, so we’ll try to transition them with other places in the community if they need shelter,” Case said. “The second story will have seven individual rooms for women who are struggling with drug or alcohol issues that have caused them to be homeless.”

The Omega Project Women’s Shelter is roughly halfway finished, but there’s plenty of work to be done. Before October, several projects need to be completed in order for Kansas Electric to do their portion.

“It’s doable. We’ve turned about $100,000 a year on this project, so putting together $20,000 on a short order is a challenge. But if you look at our history, it’s very doable.”

The Omega Project is an organization focused on creating heart change for those in the area struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.

To date, the Omega Project has served 400 men. It has helped 53 men in the last year, who have since paid $25,397 in child support and $18,197 in fines and back bills, as well as completed 2,000 volunteer hours in the community. While the Omega Project has the capacity for 20 men at once, it can only assist four women. The new shelter will increase that to 11 women.

“Our primary focus is working wth multiple areas of dysfunction. Addiction ties in to other areas of dysfunction and vice versa,” Case explained. “We’ve taken in young people who have aged out of the foster care system and don’t know how to get going in their lives. We have a heart change approach that will be effective in a broader circle. Almost 100 percent of our people do have drug and alcohol issues, but you don’t have to have those issues to need heart change.”

The women’s shelter is not a long-term fix for people, but will give them a jumpstart in changing their lives for the better. While they are there, they will receive help in finding solutions for their futures.

“In this format, you get a chance to meet with people and they meet you so you can decide if this is a relationship they want to continue,” Case said. “It allows us to work more effectively.” 

Contact Cheyenne Derksen Schroeder by email at cderksen@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow her on Twitter at @MacSentinel.