Building serving Hickory’s homeless to be sold

The two-story building in which Grace House serves Hickory’s homeless each day will be sold at auction Friday unless a local ministerial alliance can raise $75,000 to buy the property.

The Rev. Jack McConnell, Grace House executive director, said he was contacted last week by a real estate group representing the Charlotte owner of the building. McConnell said he was told that if Grace House could make an offer of at least $75,000 for the 10,000-square-foot building, the owner could stop the foreclosure and Grace House could own the building.

The appraised value is nearly $137,000, McConnell said.

Grace House operates from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily in the building at 102 First Ave. NE in downtown Hickory. The center serves an average of 60 people per day who are homeless, including those from the local Salvation Army shelter, McConnell told the Observer.

Some use Grace House as a postal center to receive mail while they are homeless. The homeless also can wash clothes and shower there and get help applying for disability. They also receive referrals to other agencies.

Veterans Helping Veterans, which assists homeless veterans, occupies the entire second floor.

McConnell said monetary donations large and small are welcome.

Donations, which are tax-deductible, should be made out to Grace House and mailed to 102 First Ave. NE, Hickory, NC 28601.

McConnell can be reached at 828-514-3558; mcconnell@ partnersbhm.org.

If not enough money is raised and the building is auctioned Friday at the Catawba County Courthouse in Newton, McConnell said, donations will be used to help move Grace House to a new location.

Grace House is looking for a building of at least 5,000 square feet, McConnell said.