2007-2010 Refuge Receives Total Transformation

If only the 1927 buildings could speak-what stories they would tell about how they have changed in the past eighty years! In the 1920s to 1940s two dorms sheltered the young mothers and their infants. In the  1970's the dormitories were remodeled into individual bedrooms.

Now they will change again. This is the story of the Remodel from 2007 to 2010 when it was finished


2007 Stage I: Bathroom

The bathroom proved the perfect first step.  With the help of individual donors, the work began. The workman replaced the old, broken sewer lines and re-plumbed the shower. Next came the new tub, toilets, and sink. A total transformation! In October 2007, thanks to our generous benefactors and a grant from Saint John the Baptist Church in Covington, WA , the last bathroom tile was put in place.


 I Stage b use before 2 bathroom 49 
 Before  After


2008 Stage II: The New Roof

The old, staunch roof withstood the test of time; it protected the teenage moms and their children for eighty years through storms and earthquakes.  Leaks that seeped through the ceiling indicated a need for repairs. The old gutters were literally falling off the roof. When Bill Lehtinen, the President of the Merciful Love Connection, climbed on the roof to inspect it, it gave way in places.

. The roof’s cry for help was very clear- it groaned and creaked when Bill stepped on several weak spots, the tin sheeting was curled and missing in places, the desperate patches did not keep out the rain, and the appearance invited suspicions of the roof’s broken bones. Sr. Mary was right; it needed to be fixed soon.

 In June 2007, when the rainy season ended, workmen stripped the old tin from the roof, revealing extensive earthquake damage to several trusses. The new roof was finished in March of 2008, a week before the first rains of autumn fell.

  Roof looking Northbefore   1     Roof looking North after 2  













 2008 stage III: Remodel of First Dormitory

On October 8, 2008, Phase III was completed.

The new, independent living apartment (They call it the Suite). The new “boutique” is filled with donated  supplies for the young mothers and their babies. Donated clothing is stacked neatly on the shelves awaiting the young mothers who come to the refuge with little more than the clothes they are wearing. Baby blankets and supplies are folded, clean, and ready for the infants. Each young mother can select clothing and supplies for herself and her baby.The library beckons with its information about jobs and the outside world, and material to help students practice newly emerging reading skills.  Sister Mary has a new office.The computer room is newly re-wired and all the computers are connected in a network. Throughout the building, new electrical wiring replaces the old. The computers were upgraded and a new program for learning English, “Rosetta Stone”, is installed. . The new computer room is a place of hope for the young mothers who study and learn computer skills, increasing their confidence and self-esteem along with their ability to find steady employment in the world outside the Refuge

  Stage III 1 new bedroom    Stage III 1 new bedroom    Stage III 1 new bedroom   stage III computers
Stage III 1 new bedroom  
   Apartment  Boutique    Library    Computer Room  Sr. Mari's Office









2009 Stage IV:  Remodel of Second Dormitory

2009-2010: Phase IV Completed

  During Phase IV  a former dormitory was remodeled to create several classrooms and a recreation room.  The new classrooms provide places for workshops in cosmetology, and sewing.  There is also an area dedicated to parenting and early child stimulation. The parenting classes are not only essential, but a source of joy for all involved, including the infants.

  The new recreation room provides a place for the teenage girls to build friendships with the other young mothers at the Refuge. The support groups that they form strengthen their ability to cope with their everyday responsibilities when it is time to rejoin the world outside the Refuge.

  costmetology lesson     3 Sewing class     pingpong
   Cosmetology      Sewing      Recreation












2010 Stage V: Remodel Administration Building

The offices of the social worker and psychologist were remodeled. There are new offices for the Director and secretary and  and a break room for the staff. The programs housed in the new offices help the young mothers find ways to overcome the effects of abandonment and abuse. The young mothers have a new reception rooms for their families.

 psychologist office  1 00 Reception small 3  sec office           
 Psychologist Office  Reception Room   Secretary Office          










Refuge entrance



  break room  hallway  
New Roof     Break Room  Hallway  










2010 Finishing Touches:  New Pillar, New Ceiling on Outside Corridor

To finish the project the outside Red corridor needed a new ceiling and the termit eaten pillars need to be removed and new one put in place. and the whole building needed to be painted on the outside. With that the project was finished. The entire Refuge returned to the dignity of its first years.



 corredor before corredor after   Pillar and termites 07    finishpillar      
Ceiling Before And After Termites   New Pillar      









 00 refuge a before  3 3    01a refuge front use for After 2    
 Courtyard Facade of Refuge  Project Finished!