Room 99 Project Update – July 2021

On May 16, the congregation renewed its commitment to immigrant justice and voted to convert Room 99, an underused classroom, into an apartment to provide transitional housing for asylum seekers. This is the latest on the project.

As we prepare for the renovation of Room 99, we continue to engage with a growing network of organizations and other faith communities engaged in supporting asylum seekers. We recently learned that in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota alone, only 50 safe housing beds exist to serve up to 3,000 asylum seekers. Asylum seekers do not qualify for most government and non-government housing assistance. The Room 99 project tangibly reflects our congregation’s commitment to provide safe and secure temporary housing for those who need it most.

Now, July highlights on our progress:

– An IKEA kitchen designer created a simple, functional layout. From that plan, we ordered the kitchen cabinets and appliances. We anticipate multiple deliveries through the end of August.

– Members of the Caring for Creation Committee helped us identify items from the sanctuary we can repurpose for Room 99.

– We’ve identified volunteer roles and have begun to put together a volunteer handbook.

– We’re compiling a list of items needed to furnish the apartment and will make that available soon.

– We’re starting to plan education opportunities for all ages.

We hope to engage as many Gloria Dei members as possible in this important outreach ministry through the following four ways:

– Make a financial gift.

– Select a gift from our online Room 99 gift registry.

– Make an in-kind donation of furnishings for the apartment.

– Volunteer your time and labor.

Watch for details in the coming weeks on how you can be involved!

If you have questions or comments, please contact Claire Hoyum or Lenore Franzen.