You are invited to become a partner to improve this community by investing in a vision to revitalize an existing property, turning it into a place that feeds people, houses people, clothes people and gives them an opportunity for job training, all the while giving them a hand up, not a hand out.
Built in the 1950s, this three building complex is located along Virginia Route 360 (Patrick Henry Highway) in the rural western part of Amelia County, Virginia. It is comprised of 14 acres and has about 1300 ft of road frontage. The land itself has potential for future community improvement beyond the scope of this first phase. Community gardens, sports space and heathly walking trails are just the start of the vision.
Currently the westernmost and smallest building, once an active repair garage for tractor trailers, is leased as a garage space. The vision is that one day it may be a youth center or large community space for sports, movies or concerts in a community with no theaters.
The center building was once a popular restaurant and small market. This space was the very first place transformed to provide needed income for mission and center development. The western end now houses the Amelia Thrift Store as of March 2017. The store was established as a community outreach over 10 years ago and in those years has given away more than $250,000 to help meet needs in the community. Everything sold there is donated, there are are no salaries paid, and after operating expenses are paid, all earnings are given away. Additionally, the store provides opportunity for job training in its servant program.
The central dining room opened in December 2017. Currently open on Thursday evenings for dinner, the vision to be eventually open as a full service restaurant providing additional income for the center’s expansion and job opportunities. Learn more.
It is the vision to offer “pay it forward” meals, where diners will be able to puchase meals for those who are in need and the hungry will be able to work to pay for their meals, so that all are fed.
The east end banquet room serves as additional dining space and as a community gathering place. Journey UMC worships in this space and a small stage and sound system will provide a venue for entertainment in the restaurant. The meeting space is available for rent on a first come, first served basis.
The eastern building requires the most renovation but offers much potential. It was once a thriving motel but has fallen on disrepair. Renovations began in 2018. Because of the road front location, there is also potential income for the center by allowing crafters to rent individual spaces to sell their craft items. We also currently lease spaces monthly for storage.
The long-range vision for the spaces is to renovate them into transitional living spaces, to provide housing on a sliding scale based on the tenants’ ability to pay. Providing homeless people a permanent address and job training will help them to help themselves. Emergency housing could be provided in a community with few affordable opportunities for those on a fixed, low income or those temporarily misplaced due to fire, illness or loss of income.