It's a project years in the making. The final phase of Sarah's Hope Family Shelter is finally finished. This comes after years of planning, fundraising and construction on renovating it.
City officials, community leaders and others involved in the multi-million dollar renovation came together for the ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning. The final product was something community leaders like Inez Robb and Roxane Prettyman didn't think was possible for their neighborhood.
"Everybody knows what happened a few years ago with the Freddie Gray and the destruction," said Prettyman. "This brings beautification to our community."
"We've been wanting and needing something like this," said Robb.
While many shelters cater to just women and children or just men in the community, Sarah's Hope provides a home for families. Thanks to multi-million dollar renovations, this shelter became not just a place for these families to rest their heads, but a real home for these families in need.
"Our goal as a design team was to really provide opportunities for people and families to engage with the outdoors and with each other," said Cherisse Otis with Mayhan Rykiel Associates.
The final phase of the renovations included an new outdoor campus. The project included transforming concrete pavement to green grass and a playground for kids living at the shelter and kids throughout the community.
"There's not a lot of outside activities for the young people and the youth," said Robb. "This is the beginning of I'm hoping that it will be many more."
Mayor Catherine Pugh acknowledged this is a step in the right direction. But there's still more work to do in tackling the issue of homelessness in the city of Baltimore.
"We have so many people who are still in our streets who deserve this kind of assistance," said Mayor Pugh. "We know that we're going to get them here."