On October 25, 1995, a $3,060,000 grant was received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for construction of a 50-unit facility on property adjacent to Friendship House. This was the culmination of many hours of effort by the Board of Directors, Management Agent, and Administrative Staff.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held on November 8, 1996 and attended by local, state, and national dignitaries. A reception was held in the Friendship House Dining Room with guest speakers. Work progressed slowly that spring due to heavy rainfall, however, the main framing of the exterior gave shape to the blueprints and we could begin to see our dream become a reality. The interior work advanced at a seemingly slow pace, but each week brought the building closer to occupancy. Initially, a tentative date of early November 1997 was set for completion; however, this date was to be moved back several times as numerous problems surfaced.
The task of contacting prospective Residents, through the existing waiting list, was begun in September of 1997. This proved to be a monumental endeavor as many applicants did not wish to move during the winter months. A total of seventy applicants were processed to allow for those who would change their minds or be physically unable to move. It was also a challenge to give prospective Residents a definite move-in date as the contractors kept advancing it.
Official possession of Friendship House North Two occurred December 30, 1997. One and a half weeks prior to that date, all 50 future Residents were contacted, arrangements were made for new leases to be signed, and a myriad of other details managed – all over a major holiday period! The first residents began moving into Friendship House North Two on January 5, 1998, with total occupancy reached by February 11th.