Eau Claire (WQOW) -- Hope Gospel Mission broke ground on a new men's center in Eau Claire on Friday.
The 'Hope Renewal Center' for men will be built on Mercantile Drive on the city's west side, just down the road from the mission's bargain center. It will be able to house at least 48 gentlemen in need, compared to the current men's center in downtown Eau Claire, which reaches capacity at 30 people.
Hope Gospel officials told News 18 this project has been years in the making.
"For about five years, we've been actually processing, praying, planning, getting all of our ducks in a row to have this day come to pass," said Sandi Polzin, Hope Gospel Mission's executive director.
If everything goes according to plan, Hope Gospel officials said the center will be open and ready to serve the community by this time next year.
"I just think the community is really going to benefit from having this new facility and that this is a wonderful thing to have in our area," said Andrew Brame, a graduate of the mission's Renewed Hope Program.
Still, Hope Gospel is only about halfway to its fundraising goal of $6.4 million.
"We need the community's support to be able to make this a reality," said Mark Donnelly, Hope Gospel Mission's founder and board president. "We've got three more million dollars to raise on the project and we can't do it without you guys. So we'd appreciate any help you can give us."
That money will help pay for both the new men's center and a new, near-by center for women and children in need.
Polzin said the organization strives to be part of the solution when it comes to homelessness in the Chippewa Valley, especially for children.
"There are hundreds of children homeless in the Chippewa Valley," Polzin said. "We want to have them feel safe and loved. We want to be a part of their brand new beginning, so that they can become the people they were intended to be also."
If you're interested in donating to Hope Gospel Mission's 'Campaign for Hope,' follow the link for more information.