In 2003 when Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc. acquired the Valley Pride Baking business, the operations that were housed in Shippensburg at 130 South Penn Street – a very large facility bounded by Penn Street, Garfield Street, and Apple Avenue, were abandoned, leaving behind a huge 35,000+ square foot empty building.
Beginning in 2009, new activities began to emerge from the old building – and today – 10 years later – many folks from all areas of life come and go to many different activities in what has become known as Katie’s Place. The old building has become a hub for social agencies to provide services to folks in the Shippensburg area so that they need not travel to Carlisle or Chambersburg to receive services they need.
Every Tuesday afternoon, SPO (Shippensburg Produce and Outreach) distributes fresh fruits and vegetables and other nutritious food to hundreds of people in need as well as delivering to the homebound in the area. Booty Bundles, a program operating under the auspices of SPO, distributes diapers and other products for babies and children and gives educational guidance for new parents at no charge.
Tri-County Community Action sees clients who need help at their Katie’s Place office, instead of requiring them to travel to Carlisle or Harrisburg for assistance. Tri-County staff assist clients in finding resources and make referrals.
SCRC (Shippensburg Community Resource Coalition) operates from Katie’s Place and is a collaborative effort among the Shippensburg School District, the Shippensburg University Foundation and others to provide services to the community such as administering the “summer lunch program” to elementary students home from school during the summer months and conducting various community needs assessments to determine needed projects.
CAN (Christ Among Neighbors) has an office in Katie’s Place and functions as an arm of the Salvation Army to provide short-term critical needs in the community – gasoline to get to work, short-term housing or heating payments, etc.
The Thrift Shoppe in the lower level of Katie’s Place brings together many members of the community to receive, sort and resell gently-used clothing and household goods. In times of emergency, such as a home fire or loss of a job, the Thrift Shoppe provides clothing and furniture to people in the community at no charge. Many community folks shop regularly at the Thrift Shoppe for the many bargains they find as well as the interesting treasures that are available.
Housing all these growing programs and maintaining an affordable, comfortable and safe home for their sponsors is the role of Katie’s Place of Shippensburg, Inc. Rent for our organizations is intentionally set very low so that as much of their available funds as possible can be dedicated to their outreach programs themselves.
Katie’s Place pays all the housing expenses for these organizations – heat, electricity, water, sewer, trash removal, telephone and internet, janitorial services, snow removal and property, and liability insurance, as well as regular repairs and maintenance.
“Keeping the lights on” and providing a comfortable environment for our home organizations costs far more than their rental payments provide. The shortfall is left to be absorbed by generous community members who believe that the services Katie’s Place provides are essential to the well-being of the community and are willing to help cover these shortfalls.
Your donation to this exciting Match Madness Campaign will be so very important as Katie’s Place endeavors to provide homes to critically-needed programs in Shippensburg and the surrounding communities.
Again – thank you for your generosity!
The Katie’s Place of Shippensburg, Inc. Board of Directors