The room was packed at the last meeting of the La-Grange Rotary Club on Wednesday, January 31st, as the members prepared for an incredible presentation, one that is beyond vital for everyone in our community. The Rotary Club of LaGrange is consistently on the cutting edge of what is happening around LaGrange and Troup County and this past meeting was no exception. Mike Wilson was there to speak to the group about New Ventures, a program providing help to those that society has left out, trying to put them back on the right track and giving people the power to take control of their lives.
New Ventures, an entity that has existed for 47 years, here in LaGrange is a community based work program that teaches people the skills that they need for work in a variety of fields. This is a company that cares about people and wants them to succeed in every area of their lives. The education they provide has gone on to produce many success stories and continues to make a positive impact across the community. Recently when Chief Lou Dekmar formed a task force to help the homeless population, New Ventures stepped up to help and through combined efforts, they have devised a solution that has changed the lives of many.
A partnership with New Ventures, The Troup County Homeless, and other individuals led to the creation of the warming center, a place where homeless individuals can come to get a hot shower, some food in their stomachs, and a warm bed. After purchasing a building, the group renovated over 5,000 square feet with help from the Callaway Foundation, the City of LaGrange, the Troup County Board of Commissioners, and several private individuals. Anytime the weather drops below 37 degrees, the warming center opens its doors to the outside and brings in anyone who needs help. They are always in search of volunteers to work or even just to spend time with the individuals there. Many Rotarians have already stepped up to the plate as well, offering their time and services to the warming center and making a difference in the lives of the individuals there. During his presentation, Wilson went on to share the stories of many that have come through the warming center that have gone on to put their lives back together.