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Alexandria Homeless Shelter Receives Makeover

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Volunteers from Home Depot load supplies into the Alexandria Community Shelter, which is getting a rapid fire face lift today.
Pete Thompson
Volunteers from Home Depot load supplies into the Alexandria Community Shelter, which is getting a rapid fire face lift today.

The Alexandria Community Shelter is almost always at capacity. An average of 66 people, a mixture of homeless families and single adults, call the old building on Mill Road home on a daily basis.

Allison Silberberg, chairman of Alexandria's Economic Opportunities Commission, says the shelter has seen better days. "The floors are old linoleum, the walls are beige and scraped up, so all of that's going to be new," she says.

The Economic Opportunities Commission is now leading an effort to transform the shelter in one day. With the help of numerous volunteers and supplies, they spent the morning painting the walls blue, laying down flooring and working with landscape material.

Shelter director Kavita Saini says it's a relief.

"The way everything looked, it was like an institution," Saini says. "This is just going to make it more comforting and relaxing."

Sheila Dover, who lives in the shelter but is about to move out, says she's thankful for the shelter's support in her life. There's one secret to the success of the new makeover, she adds.

"What we need to do is take care of what's being done here and treat it like it's our own," she says. "Because it will last a long time. I'm just picturing in my head the painting, how beautiful it will be. It will really be exciting," says Dover.

The entire event was funded by donations.

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