Epic Systems is donating a large chunk of money to Porchlight Inc. to renovate its emergency men's shelter in the basement of Grace Episcopal Church, on West Washington Avenue, where some homeless people and their advocates have criticized conditions (see "Bleak House," 2/12/2010).
"Epic has proposed to pay for fairly significant renovations for the laundry, kitchen and bathroom," says Steve Schooler, Porchlight executive director, adding that Epic has estimated the total cost at around $140,000. But Bern Tan, an Epic employee, says the exact amount of the donation is unknown because "once you start opening walls to bathrooms, you never know what you're going to find."
Tan says the company was prompted to act by Isthmus' article. "We decided this was really a worthwhile cause, because the folks at Porchlight are doing their best," he says. "We just want to help." H. Krueger & Associates will provide free interior design services, and J.P. Cullen & Sons will provide construction services. [Editor's note: The print edition of the story incorrectly referred to Krueger as an architectural firm.]
Schooler says the renovations won't increase the shelter's capacity, but will greatly improve the space. He hopes work will begin in August and finish by October.