Local Lowe’s team remodel Bridge to Home’s kitchen and dining facility

Eric Zimmerman, a Lowe's employee, measures a countertop before putting it in place in the kitchen at the Bridge to Home shelter on Thursday, August 10, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Bridge to Home’s clients can look forward to a newly remodeled kitchen and dining room after local Lowe’s stores donated their time and materials to redo the facility at the homeless shelter.

This space serves as an eating and recreational area for Santa Clarita’s homeless population during the winter shelter months and through their summer Feeding it Forward program, which provides dinner and sack lunches four times a week.

“To have them come into a facility after the whole renovation process makes them feel proud of themselves, coming off the streets and going into a place that is welcoming,” Bridge to Home case manager Olga Ruiz said.

Through Lowe’s “Heroes” program, each company store is given $2,500 to use for a service project for a local community organization. Every full-time Lowe’s employee is also to do eight hours of community service a year, so this gave some of them an opportunity to fulfill this.

This year, both of Santa Clarita’s Lowe’s stores banded together and combined their funds in order to complete the large project. After two months of organizing, the team of 20 completed the project in just three days.

“It’s nice to get them out of the store and see something from the ground up,” Lowe’s Manager Steven Gregory from the Golden Valley Road store said. “It’s really good for them to see what is possible through teamwork.”

The facility now has brand new vinyl tile flooring, fresh paint, new and refurbished cabinets and countertops, window shades, a sink, light fixtures and a library nook. Also, the Lowe’s team cleaned the vents and all of the facility’s tables and chairs.

This is the second time Lowe’s has donated their services to Bridge to Home, as they also remodeled the men’s dormitory last year.

Through the project, Gregory said he hopes Bridge to Home’s guests feel more comfortable and at home in the facility.

Alan Gately works to put adhesive on rubber base molding as he and other Lowe’s employees work to make improvements to the dining room at the Bridge to Home shelter on Thursday, August 10, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

With several new team members on staff at Bridge to Home, this remodel marks a season of growth and change for the nonprofit, according to new Director of Programs Chris Najarro.

“It’s great because we can mold to what you think is going to benefit clients the best and really take from the experiences of the past and then move forward,” Najarro said. “This type of project just gets you excited about what the future holds and what you can really accomplish with a great team.”

The staff will be glad to welcome the shelter’s guests to the facility and the staff hopes the guests are glad to be there, Najarro said.

When clients come into the remodeled space, Najarro said she wants them to know they are cared about by Bridge to Home’s team and the community.

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