FRAMINGHAM – Through a donation of construction materials, volunteer labor and money generated from a local fundraiser held last spring, a Metro West emergency shelter serving victims of domestic violence and their children has undergone a much-needed facelift.
About a year ago, The Wiese Company, a leading design-build firm in Sherborn, offered a free renovation project to one area organization that focuses on improving the lives of women.
The company selected Voices Against Violence, an agency operated by the South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC), dedicated to rending sexual and domestic violence and empowering victims and their families to help themselves and their children.
”As longstanding members of the Metro West community we look for ways to give back and improve the lives of others in surrounding communities. It is with our commitment to improving the way people live in their homes every day that we approach our community service renovation projects,” said Ray Wiese as why he gives back every year.
In only five days, construction crews from The Wiese Company finished dismantling and renovating an outdated and cramped kitchen in the family shelter, a former duplex that was converted into a home to accommodate up to six families.
New wood cabinets and glistening new countertops were installed throughout the kitchen. The centerpiece of the room now features a new and expansive kitchen island with lots of drawers for extra storage. The walls received a new coat of paint and the new arrangement of cabinets allows the home’s two refrigerators to be centrally located for easy
Shelter Manager, Amanda Mattingly, explained that not only is the ‘new’ kitchen more accommodating for multiple people to prepare meals, but the addition of the large work station with new countertops throughout, allows more people to help in the food preparation.
“It’s a beautiful room – actually, it’s the nicest room in the house,” she admitted. “The residents love to gather there. We plan to purchase a number of stools to place around the island because it’s already become an area where people want to congregate to have their coffee in the morning, help with meal prep, or have conversations after dinner.”
The kitchen renovation has had an immediate and positive effect on the families currently residing at the shelter, and that will continue for many years as new families arrive, according to Mattingly. “This is a wonderful gift that will impact many people for many years,” she added.
Since the newly renovated room has become a popular gathering space for the adults, the decision was made to relocate the children’s playroom to the former dining room, adjacent to the kitchen.
“The parents want to be able to see their children while they are preparing meals, so it just made sense to relocate their playroom. The dining room, which includes our second dining table, is now in the former play-space area,” Mattingly explained.
“We are so grateful to The Wiese Company volunteers who, in a matter of days, converted an ordinary and outdated kitchen into a room that has ecome the centerpiece of this home, “ said Voices Against Violence Director Patricia Hohl. “While we are delighted with this new, beautiful and functional kitchen, what is most important is the acknowledgement that the community cares about our residents and their children. This act of compassion and generosity will remain with our residents years after they have left this shelter and moved on to a home of their own.”
Since 1990, the emergency shelter has served as a temporary home for victims of domestic violence and abuse survivors in the MetroWest area. For more information about Voices Against Violence, call 508-820-0834.