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Steppingstone, Inc. invited supporters, advocates and community leaders to the grand opening and ribbon cutting for a new $4 million First Step Inn at 138 Durfee Street on June 27, 2017. The new facility will enhance the agency's ability to  provide emergency shelter for the area's homeless population with a 24/7 operation that will provide a range of health and human services. Located a block west of the former location at 177 North Main Street, the renovated Haddad Electronic Supply facility will provide space for people who have had to go to overflow shelters in local churches during the winter months. Facility Director Rosa Medeiros stated that the new facility will provide space for counseling, medical assessment, housing and other assistance needed to help guests move from  temporary shelter into permanent housing. A series of fundraisers over the past several years brought in donations to provide furnishings, bedding and other items to help guests stay clean, sober and safely sheltered. Click here for a 23-minute video of the event and tour. Click here for the Herald News article. Click here for pictures of the facility under construction. Click here for photos of the most recent annual 5K fundraiser. For further information or to make a donation anytime, contact Kathy Clark at 508-674-2788, Ext. 110.  

(Top row) An audience of over fifty invited guests listen as Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II is introduced by Steppingstone, Inc. Executive Director Kathy Schedler-Clark. (Row two) State Representative Patricia Haddad, whose family once owned the building, and BayCoast Bank President and CEO Nicholas Christ, who chairs the Mayor's Task Force on Ending Homelessness, speak at the grand opening event. (Row three) Ms. Clark introduces Gus, was once homeless, to share some remarks before Board President Tom Pasternek, Ms. Clark, Mayor Correia, Christine Rogers of FHLB Boston and Bronia Clifton of the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation prepare to cut the ribbon allowing visitors to enter the new facility. (Row four) Facility Director Rosa Medeiros provides a tour of the first floor, pointing out the waiting area, the computer access center and the medical evaluation rooms that wrap around the room. (Row five) Visitors tour the men's and women's sleeping areas on the second floor separated by a television lounge area. (Row six) The facility's  laundry and kitchen facilities are shown on the tour as Steppingstone Board member Robert Marchand talks with Fall River City Councilor Steven Camara. (Bottom row) Ms. Medeiros shows Solomon's Porch Pastor Brian Weeks the large assembly room where Ms. Clark sits down for lunch with Rita Vanderbeck of WPRI Media and Ms. Clifton while the other invited guests help themselves to lunch.

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