Room 99 Project Update – February 2022

Long-time Minnesotans have their own brand of faith in resurrection. We cling to the hope that, despite all the snow on the ground and the overnight lows, spring is around the corner. That hope is proving indispensable as we await the start of renovations to Room 99.

This past month, our architect provided Langer, the contractor, with the drawings needed to apply for the building permit. We expect the permit process to take us into March. Construction will begin once we receive the permit.

At that time, we’ll be able to finalize purchases of some of the major furnishings: bathroom fixtures, washer/dryer, Murphy bed, and flooring. A new queen-sized mattress for the Murphy bed has been donated by a member of the International Association for Refugees staff.

Meanwhile, Monica Dooner Lindgren, a member of the Immigrant Justice Team, is leading development of the interview and intake processes for potential guests and has drafted the covenant we will enter into with our first guest(s). While it cannot be finalized until we know who our first guest(s) will be, the current draft is a very solid basis for a final covenant.

Work also continues on volunteer recruitment and training. Christine Schoettler is leading that effort, and Julie Printz will spearhead the needed online support.

We have many reasons to hope that renovations are just around the corner. We even hope that our next update to the congregation will contain news and pictures of the changes underway as we create a home for asylum seekers.

In Ruth Frost’s new book, Homes with Heart, she describes what she calls “an anticipatory community, one that’s unafraid to live into a more just future simply by living it in the present.” That describes Gloria Dei’s commitment to the Room 99 project and gives us another reason to hope that the space we’re creating will be filled with love.