Room 99 Project Update – April 2022

Relieved. Excited. Ready.

All of these describe how the Immigrant Justice Team reacted when we learned that the City of Saint Paul approved the building permit for Room 99 on April 1. Let the renovation begin!

The permitting process, while lengthy, gave us time to look carefully at the space. We needed to square our dreams with the realities of a 60-year-old space. Three questions guided the final renovation plan:

1. What changes are necessary to make this a safe, comfortable efficiency apartment?

2. What changes are necessary to meet City code requirements?

3. What changes align with the overall maintenance of the Gloria Dei facility?

Ultimately, the plan addresses all these aspects in the most cost-effective way, weighing the need, code requirements, and the desire to be good stewards of the church building.

In May 2021, the congregation approved a budget of $85,000 for Room 99 that included construction, equipment, furnishings, and one year of guest support, as well as general apartment maintenance. The City is requiring that we move the entrance to the apartment to the north wall and replace the aging HVAC system. Both involve unanticipated expenses. However, thanks to the generosity of this congregation, we have the funds to cover these additional costs.

When you enter through the parking lot doors in the coming days and weeks, you’ll see more activity in and around Room 99. We’ll soon be underway in what we never want to lose sight of as a ministry of welcome and hospitality that has defined the Gloria Dei community from its earliest days. Watch with us as the apartment takes shape. Pray for the ministry this space will hold. And prepare your hearts to welcome our first guests in June. Let God’s work begin!