Real soon housing project for Martinsburg Union Rescue Mission | Journal-news

MARTINSBURG – People are always happy to help with the Martinsburg Union rescue mission.

A service dog named Patches greets visitors and residents as they enter in front of the main building. Volunteers are waiting at the reception to greet anyone who enters. Residents work hard in the kitchen to prepare meals which are distributed to the community.

All mission projects and services are implemented by a team of dedicated volunteers and staff. One of the Mission’s projects that has been in the works for a long time is Project 604. The name of Project 604 refers to the address of the building that the Mission is converting into a homeless shelter for up to six families. .

Pastor Tim Guerino is executive director of the Martinsburg Union Rescue Mission and oversees many of its projects. He oversaw renovations done to the house for the 604 project and worked to secure donor assistance for the project.

“Buildings mean nothing if lives aren’t changed,” Guerino said. “The building is being used to change and transform lives here.”

The shelter wants to provide housing for up to six homeless families in order to extend its reach to the community and encourage similar projects locally. Project 604 will include separate bathrooms for families, rather than shared showers. The yard will also include a swing, play equipment and a fence for the children of the families.

The project should be finished by January and the last few months have been spent cleaning up asbestos in the building. The project is still looking for donors to help reach the $1 million goal for construction and staffing.

“There is no other place in this area that offers this kind of service,” Guerino said. “We hope this project will spark a trend in the community.

Guerino has only been with the mission for three years and admits to not knowing as much about the history of the area. Sharon Wolford is the pastor’s daughter who worked with the rescue mission before Guerino and helped him get to know the people he helps.

“The lives that are changed are what’s most important,” Wolford said.

Guerino detailed how much Wolford helped his work at the mission.

“I think since 2019 I’ve spoken to about 84 churches,” Guerino said. “Sharon helped me learn the story of each one of them.”

The mission provides housing for men in need, on the condition that they contribute volunteer hours to the mission. Several volunteers work in the kitchen, which provides meals seven days a week to people who pass by, another way for the mission to serve the community.

“People don’t know that we feed the whole community,” said Davon Proctor, who works as a food services manager and has worked for the mission for eight years. “Anyone can walk through these doors and be fed; you do not need to be a member.

More information about Project 604 and the mission itself can be found at

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