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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

S.O.S. to utilize donated home

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Serving on the Streets (S.O.S.) is working on this house at 9 Daniel Biggs Dr., Brazil, attempting to turn it into housing for those in transition or have lost their homes due to a natural disaster. [Order this photo]
Serving on the Streets (S.O.S.) is working to fix up a house to help those struggling to get back on their feet.

S.O.S. Director Jenni Chamberlain told The Brazil Times the house at 9 Daniel Biggs Dr., Brazil, was donated to the organization about two years ago, and work is currently being done to fix it up.

"Our end goal is to turn it into a transitional house, in part, to help single mothers get on their feet," Chamberlain said. "However, we may use it as temporary housing for families who lose their homes to natural disasters, like a fire or flood."

Chamberlain explained that S.O.S. -- which has been in existence for eight years and became 501(c)(3) incorporated in 2005 -- will do more than just provide housing for the individuals utilizing the house.

"We will provide job training and help develop life skills like cooking and budget management," she said. "This will not be for permanent low-income housing as we hope to be able to teach the necessary skills to allow an individual get out on their own within a year of coming to the house."

She added each individual or family will be gauged on a case-by-case basis to determine the right path of assistance.

"Initially, there will not be a fee for staying at the house," Chamberlain told The Brazil Times. "But once they have a job in place, there will be a scale amount for rent set that will not only instill the responsibility of paying bills but also provide the opportunity to save money for a permanent place of their own."

Recently, area youth ministers and youth groups have assisted in renovating the house, particularly the roof.

"We have had all the labor and materials for the house donated to us," she said. "So far, the help has come from youth ministries with First Christian Church, McKinley Hill, Berea Christian Church and Carbon Baptist Church."

S.O.S. is also currently seeking potential grants to help pay for further renovations to get it up and running quicker.

"We are doing a little at a time, but we are hoping to complete the work by Spring 2011," Chamberlain told The Brazil Times. "If we are able to secure a grant or other financial assistance, we should be able to complete it before then."

She added there is still work to be done on the plumbing and electrical systems, along with repairing damaged drywall.

Once the house is open, staff will be on site at all times and measures will be in place to maintain a high level of safety and morality.

"There are three rooms on the top floor, and a member of our staff will be on the bottom level to provide supervision and on-site assistance," Chamberlain said about the two-story home. "We will also screen all applicants because the purpose of the house in not for temporary housing, but to help those who are in a tight spot get back on their feet with the skills that will make them successful on their own."

Recently, there have been rumblings in the community that S.O.S. would turn this house into a homeless shelter or that they had already given up on turning the old Brazil Junior High into a community center, which Chamberlain emphasized is not the case.

Jenni Chamberlain
"We have no plans to create a homeless shelter, even though there is the need for one in Brazil, and the junior high is a completely different project in which we are still working on the grant for," Chamberlain told The Brazil Times. "Our mission statement at S.O.S. is to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and to serve the lost and forgotten. We intend to continue to do that by helping anyone who needs assistance in any way possible."

For more information about volunteering or assisting S.O.S, contact Chamberlain at brzcjennifer@aol.com, or contact the main office at 448-8700.

Open House

Serving on the Streets will be conducting an open house at the former Brazil Junior High on Saturday, Oct. 2, from 4-7 p.m.

Refreshments will be provided and those who attend will have the opportunity to ask questions about the project to convert the building into a community center.

"Residents will be able to tour the facility and talk about our vision for the Junior High," S.O.S. Director Jenni Chamberlain said. "We encouraged the public to attend and see the work that has been done on the project, which we hope will be beneficial to the entire community."

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Please tell me this won't be a half way house for convicts getting out of prison before they return to their families. I know half way houses are lucrative, but that is the last thing Brazil needs.

-- Posted by Claycountian on Sun, Sep 12, 2010, at 9:01 PM

Flash: here's a FLASH! It'd be better having convicts reside together than with their "babies mama's". At least that way the kid has a slim chance at survival.

It breaks my heart to see so many little kids that are not old enough to make their own decisions and get out on their own to make a better life than at home.

-- Posted by Dagnabbitt on Sun, Sep 12, 2010, at 9:23 PM

Flash, if you are worried about what is going to happen, I would suggest going to a meeting or getting in touch with a SOS member. They are always around to answer questions, and probably wouldn't mind some help. They have done some really good things for the children of the community!

Respectfully submitted.

-- Posted by RickS on Sun, Sep 12, 2010, at 9:44 PM

Flash: If that is the "last thing Brazil needs", what would be the first?

-- Posted by Conservative Dad on Sun, Sep 12, 2010, at 11:19 PM

This sounds like a good thing so why try and turn it around without a probable reason? People whine and gripe about the community, but when someone tries to do something to help it people are still not happy. Lets all stop complaining, and for once do something about it, or be quiet and don't be mad for the people that are. So kudos to S.O.S for trying to make a difference. GREAT JOB!

-- Posted by NorthviewGirl on Sun, Sep 12, 2010, at 11:26 PM

"Our end goal is to turn it into a transitional house, in part, to help single mothers get on their feet," Chamberlain said. "However, we may use it as temporary housing for families who lose their homes to natural disasters, like a fire or flood."

Wow...that sounds just like convicts to me...here's an idea, how about we read something first before we get our little panties in a bunch....

-- Posted by Indymove on Mon, Sep 13, 2010, at 8:51 AM

I am always interested in the topics that people choose to comment on. It is usually on the arrest of people and subjects similar to this. How about commenting on the good things such as honor role or community functions etc.... It's like a bunch of busy bodies just waiting for the next bad story to pounce on. It's nice to see some optimistic people on here that believe in helping others, praying and supporting one another. I realize that Brazil is badly infested with drugs and criminals but there is good also. There are people who work hard for a living and provide for their families like they should. It is really annoying to see the way people react to things written in this paper. As the old saying goes, "if you have nothing nice to say, don't say nothing at all." I think there is enough negativity in the world today, how about being a light and infecting others with a positive outlook on life and those around us!!!!!

-- Posted by set_free on Mon, Sep 13, 2010, at 10:49 AM

Tells FLASH: "this won't be a half way house for convicts getting out of prison before they return to their families".

There. Now you're safe from the convicts. And not just the ones getting out of prison. All of them. Everywhere. I'm giving you the "protection from all convicts" Mojo.

Go forth and multi .. ummm .. just go forth.

-- Posted by Emmes on Mon, Sep 13, 2010, at 11:50 AM

(jumps on the attached photo with a pair of tweezers)

-- Posted by Emmes on Mon, Sep 13, 2010, at 11:51 AM

Funny thing is that Flash is the only one that posted a negative comment. The rest were basically in response to that. So, one negative comment.

You go Jennifer & Nancy. The Lord be with you, however you choose to use it.

-- Posted by Conservative Dad on Mon, Sep 13, 2010, at 8:52 PM

And this is not the only article in the Brazil Times. I read this paper everyday and just thought it should be said. It was actually not directed to anyone particular but in general! Thanks!

-- Posted by set_free on Tue, Sep 14, 2010, at 11:30 AM

Talk about negative and nasty!! I just asked a question and got jumped on. And you guys say I'm the one who is negative. Shame on you.

-- Posted by Claycountian on Tue, Sep 14, 2010, at 5:37 PM

I'm sorry. I thought your question was rhetorical. I missed the question mark. Seemed like a very strange way to ask a question. Looked like a question that was imposing an opinion. "Last thing that Brazil needs". What is the first thing please?

-- Posted by Conservative Dad on Tue, Sep 14, 2010, at 9:08 PM

Like I said...nasty and negative.

-- Posted by Claycountian on Tue, Sep 14, 2010, at 9:29 PM

Did Flash not read the article? It said a place for homeless not convicts.

Go SOS this town needs this home. If a homeless person needs a place to stay, as things now stand, they have to go to Terre Haute to the Mission for a night indoors and a meal.

With the economy the way it is, who is to say "it won't happen to me"?

God bless your efforts SOS

-- Posted by Tracy Jones on Tue, Sep 14, 2010, at 10:10 PM

Its not being nasty it is called getting the facts before you speak. How can you not expect people to jump on your comment? If you don't think before you say something it can come out wrong, and your comment did just that. You have the right to an opinion, but everyone has the option of using freedom of speech. It's your choice if you want to use it, but with freedom of speech you must know that there can be repercussions. My opinion is think before you speak, and next time if you mess up just say my bad I messed up. All you had to say is you didn't read the article fully, or you didn't understand something. However, instead of doing that you get mad at everyone else because they don't like your comment. So lets let bygones be bygones, and not cause problems for a good cause.

-- Posted by NorthviewGirl on Tue, Sep 14, 2010, at 11:35 PM

DAD .. I'm thinking he doesn't have a comment about the "first thing Brazil needs".

-- Posted by Emmes on Wed, Sep 15, 2010, at 11:46 AM

Yes, this is starting out as a shelter for homeless and i think thats great. But lets revisit this issue in 5 years and see what its become. How many grants or funding are out there for true homeless vs. "just out of prison" homeless? The funding is abundant for prisoner "re-entry" into society. If this house stays for OUR homeless & needy, then it the FIRST thing brazil needs. But you better pray the mission doesn't change to a prisoner 1/2 house slowly over time, one "homeless" person at a time. Mark my words, thats the last thing Brazil needs because prison 1/2 way houses bring into the community an element you've never seen the likes of, not to mention the "families" that move it to feed off the resident population. You better pray I am wrong about this. If I'm right and the mission shift is made over time, you'll all know the true meaning of negative and nasty. Go ahead and scoff my opinion and tell me how wrong and negative, etc that I am...or how opinionated I am. But lets just sit and watch it unfold.

-- Posted by Claycountian on Wed, Sep 15, 2010, at 9:48 PM

Better than sitting and watching it unfold, let's get involved and help make it be a success story!

-- Posted by veracious on Wed, Sep 15, 2010, at 9:59 PM

Where in the story say this is for the homeless. Did no one read Ms. Chamberlains comment that there are no plans for a homeless shelter. However, it says pretty clear that it is going to be a transition house for single mothers and maybe those who home gets burned down. Its very frustrating to hear so may people in this town say there needs to be something good, but when someone tries to help or do some good, everyone is quick to put it down. I respect anyone trying to make things better here when so many people rather keep things the same and fight against progress.

-- Posted by axegrinder1313 on Wed, Sep 15, 2010, at 10:41 PM

Hey Axegrinder- read Ms. Chamberlain's quote (paragraph 3) -"However, we may use it as temporary housing for families who lose their homes to natural disasters, like a fire or flood." Sounds to me that if you lose your home, you are homeless. That is where in the story it says "homeless". However, I'm not going to jump on you in a negative and nasty manner like so many fellow Clay Countyians would and clobber you with their keyboards.

-- Posted by Claycountian on Thu, Sep 16, 2010, at 6:30 AM

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