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Prospective homeless shelter receives donation from hospital

Doing a good deed for a good deed. This is what Bingham Memorial Hospital did for Big Momma’s House, Friday.

The hospital donated $5,000 toward the purchase of the house to be made into a homeless shelter.

Pastor Jacqualine Thomas said her next step is to continue to raise enough money and then add furniture into the home.

“This is a beautiful home for beautiful people and God’s children,” Pastor Thomas said.

She is on a mission to make a house in Pocatello a place where the homeless can find hope.

Bingham Memorial just helped her become one step closer.

The kitchen room of the house was filled with people coming to celebrate her; even Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad and her realtor, Gil Judkins were there to congratulate her!

“I’m just overwhelmed. I’m just excited, I’m happy. I’m glad. I’m trying to hold the tear back. I feel so blessed. People I don’t even know are coming up and stepping up to the plate to help,” Pastor Thomas said, as she wiped her tears away.

Mark Baker is the Director of Public Relations at Bingham Memorial Hospital. He and those at the hospital were moved by a donation made by Dr. Naeem Rahim’s $23,000 donation, just last week. As Baker began to learn more about what Pastor Thomas was doing he decided to get involved.

“At Bingham, we believe that compassion is part of healing and that true healing only occurs when compassion is part of that cure. What Big Momma is doing with her house for the homeless, is truly compassion for the community,” Baker said.

Alessandra Toscanelli has been working with Pastor Thomas since it first started. She actually wrote the first article for Big Momma’s House. Since then, she has been working to put together a program for the prospective clients.

“It’s going to be supportive housing and wrap-around support services. The clients will be able to receive services that will provide education training, skills, mental health services and provide transportation to and from different things and connective services throughout our community,” Toscanelli said as she tried to fight back tears.

Not only will the clients be able to help themselves but also give back to the community, Toscanelli said.

“By giving supportive housing, we’re allowing people to also participate in community service and that they will be able to donate their time and their talents. Each one of us have a unique talent to give and through supportive services, our clients will be able to find their path in life, their purpose and be able to give back to the community,” Toscanelli said.

Toscanelli said the goal is to partner with community organizations such as Hope and Recovery or Family Services Alliance and South Eastern Idaho Community Action Agency (SEEICA) and those other things.

Right now, Pastor Thomas said she is at $44,000. In order for her to be debt free when buying the house, she needs about $180,000 by Jan. 27.

Those who would like to donate can click here.

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