Opening Doors: The Nonprofit Behind the Teresa Shelter, Maria House & Francis Apartments

Opening Doors logo w Francis

Dubuque nonprofit Opening Doors aims to take care of women with no place to go while helping them to get them back on their feet.

“Opening Doors’ story started in 2000 with a homeless woman on a park bench with no place to stay,” said Ann Lorenz, development and marketing director of Opening Doors. “Since that time, we have empowered over 3,300 women and children, teaching them life skills to help them build a brighter future for their families.”

Opening Doors, which operates Teresa Shelter, Maria House, and the Francis Apartments, provides shelter and life and job skills training for women in the tri-state area. Maria House provides transitional housing for residents up to two years, while Teresa Shelter offers short-term emergency shelter services and an extended stay program.

Opening Doors opened the Francis Apartments last year to offer permanent supportive housing for graduates of Maria House and Teresa Shelter.

20180731_150606We recently went on a shopping trip to help Opening Doors stock up on one of their frequent needs: laundry soap and socks.

“We go through those items very quickly,” Lorenz said. “Our Wish List ebbs and flows – changing throughout the year, but laundry soap is like gold.”

Want to help? View their wish list here.

“Wish List donations allow us to redistribute operating funds to expand our programming to better serve our community,” Lorenz said.

Each year Opening Doors serves over 300 women and children.

Learn more about Opening Doors here.

Mural Update: Nine New Murals in the Works for 2018

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Voices Productions has taken to the streets of Dubuque once again to add color and life to buildings around the city.

In 2016, the organization suspended its 11-year tradition of Millwork District gallery shows to embark on a public art project. The result was 18 large scale murals.
See the 2017 murals here.

The group is setting out to complete nine more in 2018, bringing the total to 27. So far two are in progress or completed: one on the Steve’s Ace Hardware building at 200 S. Locust St., and one at 1638 Central Ave. Many others are planned for Central Avenue.

“The difference between this year is that property owners are reaching out to us, asking to participate in the mural initiative by requesting a mural on their wall and offering to pay for it,” said Sam Mulgrew, president of Humanities Iowa and one of the five directors of Voices Productions.

The murals are also supported by grants and partners, including Runde Auto Group and Humanities Iowa.

The art is drawing quite a bit of attention — tourists and locals can be seen snapping photos of the giant paintings.

“Public art and murals are important because they take fallow, lifeless public walls and transform them into animated places,” Mulgrew said. “In the process, a zeitgeist is expressed, and diverse audiences are engaged.”

The newest mural on Steve’s Ace Hardware is being painted by Gaia, the same artist who painted the Automate and floral murals on 2nd St.

The mural at 1638 Central Ave. depicts La Pacha Mama, an Incan fertility goddess. It also features the Mississippi River and Julien Dubuque Bridge. It was designed by Miami painter Luis Valle.

When the murals are complete, a program will be produced so that observers can take a walking tour.

Learn more about Voices Productions here.

 

Runde Ford Drive 4 UR School Event Raises Over $5,000 for West Delaware Schools

IMG_1003

Our Ford Drive 4 UR School test drive event on Friday raised more than $5,000 for the West Delaware Athletic Booster Club!

The event, held at the Beckman Sports Complex in Manchester, saw more than 250 test drives of new Ford vehicles. For each test drive, Ford donated $20.

“It was hosted during a softball tournament so we had a great turnout,” said Aaron Young, sales manager at Runde Ford Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Manchester. “It will be a very positive boost for the community.”

Thank you to everyone who test drove a vehicle! 🚗🚗