Roanoke homeless shelter looking for a new location

Organization is celebrating 50 years of service in 2021

ROANOKE, Va. – The Roanoke Area Ministries’ RAM House is in search of a new home.

The organization announced its intention to move its homeless shelter on Tuesday after more than 30 years in the former Our Lady of Nazareth schoolhouse on Campbell Avenue SW.

Executive Director Melissa Woodson said the organization has a space in mind and is being helped by a major donor, but did not elaborate on either statement.

The search for a new location comes after researchers Christopher Dyer, of George Mason University, and Sharon Christner, of Hollins University, conducted a study by interviewing those staying in the shelter to determine how the RAM House can improve its service.

The RAM House will follow the researchers’ recommendations when scouting for a new space which include: increased handicap accessibility, showers, computers for applying to jobs and office space for mental health and substance abuse counselors.

“RAM House is already a place that meets those essential basic needs that are the important foundation for any kind of help,” Christner said. “In the new building, I hope it incorporates ways for people to move beyond basic needs being met through case management and paths forward.”

Roanoke Area Ministries is commemorating its 50th anniversary of service this year.

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