River House, which has been funded mostly by private donations since it opened in 2005, has also been boosted by $200,000 in state funding, as well as $20,000 from the city of Beverly.
Benashski said the infusion of cash has enabled River House to increase its staff from seven to 10 and will allow the shelter to stay open 24 hours per day. Case managers will help the men at the shelter find work and permanent housing.
The shelter, which can serve 22 to 34 men each night, got a facelift during the five months it has been closed, including painting, landscaping, new furniture and lockers. Instead of sleeping on mats on the floor, men will now sleep in new cots that can be stacked to save space.
There’s even a new sign with a new logo on the front of the house, which is on River Street across from the train station. In May, Harborlight Community Partners in Beverly took over as the shelter’s fiscal agent.
Benashski said all of the changes have given new life to River House.
“This is just such a boon to the program and to the community,” she said.
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.