Shelter to open at former care home

Photo courtesy of R6 Ministries

Blake Yancy (left) and Michael Black spent part of a Graves County High School Community Service Day picking up sticks and limbs from the yard of the former Autumn Ridge Personal Care home. The facility is being transformed into a faith-based men's shelter and rehabilitation center.

A faith-based men's shelter and rehabilitation center is opening soon in the former location of Autumn Ridge Personal Care, 4880 Ky. 121 South, near Farmington.

"We're there to offer help, to give them a place to go, to help them find jobs, to get back on their feet," said Howard Procknaw, assistant coordinator for the shelter, which will be named Willett Hall. "I feel everyone needs a second chance."

The shelter is being opened by R6 Ministries, run by the Rev. Mickey Fowler of Pryorsburg Independent Methodist Church. R6 already has both a men's shelter and a women's shelter in Mayfield, but they are considerably smaller, Procknaw said.

Procknaw acknowledged some neighbors expressed concerns about the shelter to the media when a story aired on television last month, questioning what was going into the former Autumn Ridge. Administrators are committed to a strict set of rules and supervision to help alleviate those concerns, he said.

No loitering will be allowed outside the building, he said.

The shelter also will not accept sex offenders, Procknaw said. All applicants must be screened by board members before they are accepted in the shelter. Their progress will be reviewed every 12 weeks to ensure they are complying with the rules.

If not, Procknaw said, they would have to leave.

"We have to have room for those who really want to try," Procknaw said.

One way shelter staff will determine that will be based on a requirement that residents work. The shelter will help them get a job, but it will take 30% of their paychecks, up to $400 a month, for rent, Procknaw said.

Absolutely no alcohol or drugs will be allowed, and any found will be grounds for removal from the shelter, he said.

The men must also attend church three nights a week and Bible study once a week. No women will be allowed on the property other than in their vehicles to drop off or pick up a resident as pre-arranged, Procknaw said. The shelter also plans to offer Alcoholics Anonymous meetings on-site.

"We just don't want any conflict with the neighbors," Procknaw said.

An opening date has not been determined, but Procknaw said they hope to be able to open in roughly three weeks.

"Once we get open, we'll have 42 beds," he said.

For now, Procknaw said, employees are in the process of painting, stripping and waxing floors. Earlier this month, some Graves County High School students spent part of a community service day painting and doing yard work at the shelter.

"There's still a lot that needs to be done," Procknaw said.

When it gets closer to opening, he said, R6 hopes to have an open house so community members can see for themselves what the shelter will offer.

The first fundraiser is already being planned. An auction will be at 6:30 p.m. June 8 at the Disabled American Veterans post, 902 N. 15th St. For more information on the auction, call Procknaw at 434-251-4679.