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Organization moving into larger office

COVINGTON - FaithWorks, a local nonprofit organization that assists residents with rent and utility payments, will move to a new location on Turner Lake Circle in January, said Executive Director Bob Furnad.

FaithWorks will share a 3,000-square-foot space with the Newton County Community Food Pantry on property recently purchased by Covington with revenues from the sale of Covington Cable TV.

FaithWorks will occupy about 1,800 square feet, Furnad said, more than four times the size of its current office on Thelma Street, which is 464 square feet.

The new office will include separate rooms for client intake, he said.

"This will give the clients privacy" Furnad said. "We want them to feel they're respected, and how can you feel respected when you're telling how bad your situation is and everybody in the room can hear it? This will give privacy for clients and privacy for investigators making calls in the afternoon to determine their situation and what we can do about it," he said.

Before the organization can move in, the building needs extensive work, including walls that need to be torn down and rebuilt. Restrooms and a small kitchen also need to be installed, Furnad said.

Renovations will cost about $30,000, with FaithWorks responsible for payment. Furnad said the organization had raised a little less than $100,000 toward its building fund through fundraisers that will be used to pay for renovations.

Meanwhile, Community Food Pantry Director Rosalee Thompson said the move-in date for the pantry will likely be in March.

Thompson said she has not yet signed a lease.

She said the new building will actually have less space than the pantry currently has at its site on Brown Street, which she said is in need of renovation.

The cost of renovating the Brown Street building will be more expensive than renovations to the new site, Thompson said.

Thompson said she does not yet know how the Food Pantry will pay for the renovations.

Rainbow Community Center, a homeless shelter in Porterdale, will also move to a separate building on the property in March or April, according to the shelter's director, Clara Lett.

Covington purchased the 2.64 acre tract at 7153 Turner Lake Circle for $979,800. In addition, the city agreed to pay for the cost of installing a sprinkler system and shower, for a total purchase price of $1,080,000.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.