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Flathead shelter for women, kids nears completion thanks to comm - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Flathead shelter for women, kids nears completion thanks to community support

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The new facility is located on the corner of Fifth Avenue and First Street in Kalispell . (MTN News photo) The new facility is located on the corner of Fifth Avenue and First Street in Kalispell . (MTN News photo)
KALISPELL -

The community is coming together to make one woman's lifelong dream come true. Before too long, a new shelter will be up and running in Kalispell to serve women and children who need a safe place to go.

"I've seen that house across the street, and I prayed and I thought, 'Lord, that will make an excellent house for women and children'," said Ray of Hope Director Peggy Christenson.

On the corner of Fifth Avenue and First Street in Kalispell hands have been working hard to build this house but it's the hearts that will be welcomed here that will make it a home.

"I was raised to believe in giving a hand up to people, not a handout and helping people find out what their talents and giftings are and then help them get involved in that," Christenson said.

Peggy's House is the vision of Peggy Christenson, founder of the nonprofit Christian ministry A Ray Of Hope, which serves the homeless community in Flathead County for nearly two decades.

Christina Thurber is expecting and has been a guest at the ministry's shelter across the street since last September.

"There is a lot of programs out there that don't take people who have felonies. And unfortunately, I happen to be one of them for right now and without a place like this because of that being on my record I'd be out on the streets right now," Thurber said.

But Thurber is on a better track now. Thanks to A Ray of Hope she has a place to call home.

This doorway is the threshold of hope, healing, and transformation. The shelter currently houses men and women but Peggy's House will be for women and children."

"You run into difficulty when you mix the two together, and so it's a safer environment if we can give the women their own home," said A Ray of Hope board of trustees member Dave McLean. "And particularly children, there is just a lot of vulnerability there."

Once completed, Peggy's House will provide shelter for up to 15 women and children who would otherwise have nowhere to go.

And though Peggy was recently diagnosed with cancer and she's fighting for her life, she's also not giving up hope on her dream to see Peggy's house completed.

"It's her life dream. This is her biggest life dream it's everything she's living for right now and she's so selfless this is all she wants," said volunteer Brenda Roskos.

There's a fundraiser coming up this weekend to help raise $80,000 needed to finish the shelter. You can click here for more details.

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