Rome physician Raj Miniyar told a group of community leaders Tuesday that a formerly homeless woman and child will move into the Swami Vivekananda House of Compassion today.
The project, which Miniyar originally thought might take 45 days but eventually took almost 20 months, is one he said is a foundation to build on.
“There is a need for more (housing for homeless families) so this is a small step in the right direction,” Miniyar said of the 102 Howell St. home.
The pediatrician said he learned of a tremendous need for housing that would keep homeless families together instead of having the father at one place, the mother at another and children at a third location.
“This is an experience that is not religious in nature but communitarian,” said Brother Shankara, the resident minister of the Vedanta Center of Atlanta.
“This is the energy of transformation, one family at a time.”
Miniyar purchased the home in April 2015 and a series of volunteers have converted it into a fresh three-bedroom, one-bath home.
The building was in far worse condition than Miniyar originally imagined, and it required extensive and expensive work from its foundation to its roof to bring it up to code.
Miniyar estimated that he’s put nearly $56,000 into the project.
Action Ministries Rome took a number of applications for the home and vetted them before choosing the first occupants.
The first residents will be allowed to stay in the home for at least six months, perhaps longer if necessary to get the woman and child back on their feet.