Kentucky Legend’s Revitalizing Owensboro project began last year as part of their ongoing mission to give back to the community. Last June, Kentucky Legend revitalized Puzzle Pieces, Inc. in order to create a safe environment and promote life fundamentals for those living with special needs. The effort was such a hit that Kentucky Legend decided to establish Revitalize Owensboro as an annual event.
This year, they will rally volunteers on Saturday, July 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to revitalize St. Benedict’s Homeless Shelter’s anticipated new day shelter facility located at 905 Hickman Avenue. Volunteers from Kentucky Legend and the community will participate in interior and concrete demolition, interior painting, carpet removal, landscaping and pressure washing.
“We want to continuously show our gratitude to the community that so graciously supports us,” said Brooklyn Maple, brand director for Kentucky Legend. “We give back to the community in various ways, but this project is extra special to us because we’re physically doing the work and seeing the impact.”
St. Benedict’s Homeless Shelter has been serving the homeless men of Owensboro for the past 14 years at 1001 West 7th St. Established in 2005, St. Benedict’s has served as a temporary refuge for homeless men in the community by providing a safe, non-judgmental environment where residents can have a warm place to sleep, shower, eat and wash personal laundry.
Harry Pedigo has been serving in the capacity of executive director of the shelter since 2012. While Pedigo does his best to ensure that the needs of the community and the men he serves are met, he has also known for some time that he could not provide a solution for everything.
“We know that there’s a need,” Pedigo said. “Our [current] facility is not in the position to house the services we are wanting to provide for our residents. This [new] facility is geared not just to the homeless, but those who are at risk of homelessness as well.”
The first week in June, St. Benedict’s purchased the 2,400 square foot facility located at 905 Hickman Ave. in an effort to maximize and expand the current services they provide to the homeless and at risk in the Owensboro community.
“This project is imperative to our organization because we are expanding our services to the population we serve,” Pedigo said. “The intentions are to completely remodel the facility and tailor it to be more presenting and to be more comforting and welcoming to those who are receiving services from us. We want it to stand out in that area of the community and for people around it to take pride in it. We want it to add value, not just to the people, but to the location.”
That area of the community is one that is also important to the mission and vision of Audubon Area Community Services, Inc., which is why Deputy Chief Executive Officer Brandon Harley said their building is located near the people they serve.
“Audubon Area Community Services is committed to doing what we can to build up the people we serve,” said Harley. “We are always looking for ways to try and remove barriers to help folks living in poverty-stricken areas become self-sufficient, productive citizens. A collaborative partnership with St. Benedict’s is a natural fit with our mission, so we partnered with Harry to bring that day shelter to reality. We have similar missions to help lift these families into better situations.”
While Pedigo’s vision is to establish a day shelter that is able to provide various outreach services and increase the job capacity for those at risk of homelessness in the community, he said the project and the facility are still very much in the developmental stages. The new facility has yet to be named and is still dependent on grant funding and approval, as well as sponsorships from local businesses.
“Everything is still in the infancy stage,” Pedigo said. “We want to make sure when we do launch, it’s going to enhance the vision of aiding the homeless.”
Pedigo anticipates having the facility completed before winter and is hopeful that community partnerships like the one with Kentucky Legend will help to empower those involved so that their shared vision can begin to take shape.
“Kentucky Legend is helping us set things in motion and strengthening our working relationship in the process,” Pedigo said. “It’s more than just giving or volunteering, it’s an investment into the lives of our less fortunate of the community. Our relationship has become monumental and, above all, intentional for those we serve. We were very blessed that they [Kentucky Legand] chose us as an organization that they want to revitalize.”
For those volunteering at Revitalizing Owensboro, lunch will be served beginning at 11 a.m. Kentucky Legend encourages the public to attend. Anyone interested in providing corporate or business sponsorships to assist with renovations of the new facility may contact Harry Pedigo at (270) 541-1003.