The Rockmart Homeless Initiative should be celebrating their first anniversary this month with continued hopes of success in helping people get back on their feet in the coming year at their Resource Center on South Marble Street.

Instead, they are scrambling to find a new home somewhere in the area as soon as possible in order to continue their mission helping people.

RHI Board Member Victoria Millhollan said the organization has boxed up and covered as much of their supplies as they can after a roof leak was discovered the weekend of April 6 and 7 which caused water damage in key areas of their center. Their bathroom, supply closet and an area they setup for cots to allow for clients at the Resource Center to take daytime naps all saw water leaks from the roof in recent days.

"We're trying to protect everything," Millhollan said. "We've tarped everything, and the tubs of our supplies have tarps covering them as well."

She explained that roof work on a neighboring building pushed water onto the roof of their building during an early April rainstorm, and the leaks came pouring into the resource

center and down the walls. Ceiling tiles fell in, water soaked their carpet and made the center not safe for their clients to stay inside.

The organization announced their closure for the time being to the public on April 7.

For the time being, Millhollan said that they are going to cut down their availability to the community to two days a week, and only a couple hours at a time where they will hand out supplies outside of their Resource Center, but won't allow anyone in.

"We can't have anyone in the center because it is unsafe," Millhollan said.

She added that an active search is underway now for a new location, though the initial response of volunteer efforts to find a place to rent have been unsuccessful. Millhollan asked that anyone who knows of a space they may be able to take over either temporarily or on a permanent basis should call her at 770-900-3699.

She additionally is hopeful that repairs might be made to the building soon and they may be able to continue operations without having to move, but said no timetable was immediately available at midweek.

The Rockmart Homeless Initiative continues onward despite their recent setback through donations financially and of supplies entirely through the community. Millhollan said those interested in helping can find more information at their Facebook page, facebook.com/RHI.NFP/.

The organization looked to celebrate their first anniversary within their resource center this month after they first opened to those in need of help on April 20, 2018. They had over the year expanded their service hours a few days a week at a time.

RHI also partnered with {span}Abundant Life Community Center to provide a Cold Weather Shelter in the Rockmart area for those who are homeless and without any warm place to stay on nights where temperatures dipped well below freezing.