Home Depot Staff Improves Homeless Shelter - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/17/05

Home Depot Staff Improves Homeless Shelter

Every few months, Home Depot encourages its employees to choose a community service project. Using company funds, the workers volunteer their time and labor. Danielle Thomas was here with Team Depot at the Salvation Army shelter in Gulfport where there was plenty of work to be done.

"When we walked in, we said, 'This is it. It has to be done,'" Team Depot leader Hugh Smith said.

The plan was to refurbish the ladies bathrooms at the homeless shelter. One look and Team Deport knew they had their work cut out for them.

"All the tile in the shower was all molded and falling off," said Smith. "The floor tiles in the rest room area, half of them were coming up and missing. We had a project ahead of us."

With a fresh coat of paint, a lot of stain, as well as new tile and plumbing, Team Depot wanted to brighten the lives of women and children staying at the Salvation Army. Like many, Charles Jenkins came in after a day of working at the store.

"I volunteered because I knew they needed the help," said Jenkins. "It's one thing to feel good about something. It's another thing to do something, so that's why I came."

The more walls they patched, the more the volunteers realized how much more needed to be done. Fixing doors, hallways, and ceiling tiles, would take more money than they had.

"We had neighbors and customers coming in to the store that would made $100 donations. I had a cousin at dinner one night that wrote out a check for $100. We were able to take with the various donations we received and triple our donation from Home Depot," Smith said.

It that spirit of working together on the clock and off that makes Team Depot feel like family and make a difference.

Salvation Army officials say they're very excited about the project Team Depot has undertaken. They believe having a nicer living space will make the women and children staying at the shelter feel more at ease.

by Danielle Thomas

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