Dorm rooms that were once targeted for demolition will now serve as a home for some of the area's homeless youth.
Last year, 55 students in Hastings Public Schools were considered homeless, and more than 20 percent of Nebraska youth who have aged out of the foster care system have been homeless. Now some of these young people will have a safe place to call home.
The Maryland Living Center opened Monday following a Grand Opening ceremony on Sunday. Five youths, ages 16-21, are expected to move into the transitional living facility.
The newly renovated building includes 13 apartments and is approved for up to 33 tenants. Each apartment comes furnished with items provided by families, businesses, churches and service groups in Hastings.
Linda Addison, executive director of the Hastings Housing Development Corporation, secured a federal grant to buy the property for $100,000. The grant also includes $1.4 million to renovate the building, which was built in 1908.
The mission of the Maryland Living Center is to "provide anempowering life experience in a stable, safe, and secure living and learningenvironment, for homeless or transitioning youth."
The goal is to work with the residents to transition them into successful independent living within 12 to 18 months.