Opening Doors has been challenged to meet its mission during the past three years due to the space constraints at our Teresa Shelter facility. This shelter provides emergency housing for women and children experiencing homelessness.

The increase in the demand for our services prompted a need to reconfigure the space for staff efficiency and the safety of our residents. Two local businesses collaborated to provide a solution.

Gerb Smith, of Smith Home Gallery & Cabinet Works, visited the site and proposed a solution to build an intake room, which allowed additional office space for staff. Gerb reached out to John Cook, general manager of Spahn & Rose Lumber Co. (Dubuque) who offered to donate all of the supplies needed for the project.

Gerb’s team constructed the main structure for the room. Opening Doors volunteers are in the process of finishing the project.

“When there is need in this community, people step up,” said Executive Director Carol Gebhart. “We are so grateful for the support from Gerb Smith and John Cook to help us better meet the needs of women and children experiencing a tough time.

“As a result, staff have adequate office space to support our residents, and we have a dedicated, private intake space to welcome new residents. Providing a safe, supportive and hospitable environment is a basic tenet to meeting our mission.”

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