Feb 3, 2023 ARTICLE from the FREDERICK NEWS POST
by Ryan Marshall firstname.lastname@example.org
The parking lot at the Frederick Rescue Mission had been a problem since Arnold Farlow arrived in 2005.
The old dirt and gravel lot created a “constant tug of war” to keep it in a decent condition, said Farlow, the Rescue Mission’s executive director.
It was muddy in the winter and dusty in the summer, and the Mission’s volunteers and guests would track the mud and dirt inside, he said.
The water was running down the Mission’s sloping parking lot and collecting on nearby properties, said Danielle Adams, executive officer of the Frederick County Building Industry Association, who helped coordinate the project.
The ruts and uneven ground that formed also created hazardous conditions and accessibility problems for people seeking the Mission’s services, she said.
With more than 72,000 meals served and 88,000 requests for groceries, and through helping 70 men who sought help with addiction in 2022, the Mission’s offices on South Street are a busy place.
Several times, Farlow looked into having the lot paved, but said he was told that without expensive stormwater management work, the water would run off the pavement and flood neighboring properties.
Then he got a call from Adams looking for a project the Building Industry Association could help with.
Planners and engineers worked out a plan to draw the water back to the right rear corner of the Mission’s property.
The nearby Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs granted an easement for a drainage pipe across its parking lot, and offered “a thousand-percent cooperation,” Adams said.
The water flows to the rear of the Mission property, through a drain and filtration system, across the Religious Coalition property to DeGrange Street, where it enters the city’s system and flows to Carroll Creek, Farlow said.
After beginning in October and experiencing some supply chain problems in getting materials, the project finished in January, Adams said.
The city’s planning and permitting departments expedited the work as much as possible, Adams said.
The project was a collaboration between local businesses, who donated services or products for free or at reduced prices.
The businesses include:
The Rescue Mission provides food, shelter, and faith to the community’s most vulnerable residents, elements essential to a thriving community, Jeremy Holder, vice president of Ausherman Properties and Trustee of the Ausherman Family Foundation, wrote in a statement.
“The Ausherman Family, like so many of our Frederick businesses, believes ‘Building a Community’ means so much more than growth and development,” Holder wrote, “so when we learned of the lead role the FCBIA had taken and of the opportunity to join so many others in the building industry who were contributing their time, money, and resources, we knew we should step up to help make this project a reality.”
The Home Builders Care Foundation of Maryland, an industry organization based in Fulton that uses its members’ skills and resources to help worthwhile projects, also contributed through an agreement with the Building Industry Association.
“Nonprofits like FRM who provide a safety net of housing and resources to vulnerable individuals and families face many challenges with limited resources. These are the organizations we target for assistance,” Patti Kane, the group’s director, wrote in an email. “By helping out with this complex project, we not only helped make the Mission’s hard-working facility more safe and functional, but we also gave the Mission thousands of dollars in the construction costs, and allowed Mission leadership staff to focus their valuable resources on essential program services that impact thousands of lives.”
The parking lot project was the culmination of so much that the Mission sought to do to advance its mission of helping people who are homeless, hungry, or facing addiction, Farlow said.
Getting rid of the “big gorilla that we never could find a solution for” opens up possibilities for other projects in the future, he said.
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