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‘This House Is A Sanctuary’ Shelter For Women, Children Completes Expansion Project

It looks like an elegant sorority house, not a homeless shelter.

But the remodeled behemoth at the corner of Mallon and Lindeke can now sleep up to 100 women and children every night.

About 250 people showed up Friday morning to celebrate the completed $2.3 million addition to Anna Ogden Hall, which doubles the number of people the home can serve.

“This is a sanctuary,” said director Marg Williams. “It’s a sanctuary because it’s been set aside as a place of God.”

The shelter - one of the most impressive structures in the poverty-laced West Central neighborhood - feeds, clothes and counsels troubled women and their children.

Suzy Miller told the throng that the home saved her life.

Miller, 22, said she suffered from serious depression and came to the home last year straight from the Sacred Heart Medical Center psychiatric ward.

“There was a light here I’d never experienced before,” she said. “God’s light.”

Miller cried during her speech, describing how she was baptized last spring, and hopes to end up working at the home.

“I finally found a place where I belonged. It sounds crazy, but it’s a homeless shelter.”

Nadine Woodward, a KREM-TV anchorwoman, also spoke, praising the 25-year-old home as a model of how to help the needy without draining the U.S. Treasury.

The hall, run by the Union Gospel Mission, has thrived without receiving any federal money.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 2 Color Photos

Tags: Charity