For years, the COMEA Shelter hoped to purchase the building next door for expansion of family housing services. When the building eventually came up for sale, funds weren’t available. Thankfully during a 2019 fundraiser, an anonymous donor changed the dream for the not-for-profit shelter.
Talk of the renovation project and the need to recruit volunteers to finalize the project attracted a television crew from BYU-TV. The crew from “The Fixers” came to Cheyenne last October to join community volunteers, including past COMEA Shelter residents, as they worked together to make renovations.
The building was transformed into The Journey Center, offering a place for families in need to be supported with an at-home experience much different from a traditional shelter. The building offers four family rooms with a shared kitchen, dining room, living room, laundry, showers, and an outdoor playground. Businesses from across the city united to complete the project, including General Contractor Executive Builders along with volunteers from Homewreckerz, Reiman Corp, Dirty Rose LLC, Morandine Concrete, Lowe’s, and Big Bird Landscaping.
Executive Director of COMEA Robin Bocanegra was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support provided by the community but was not all that surprised as Cheyenne has been supporting COMEA since 1982. “This little city never fails to provide when there is a need. One of the points that convinced The Fixers to chose us was our confidence that we would be able to recruit enough volunteers. ‘Community’, is a major part of this show. We could not feel more blessed,” said Bocanegra
The Journey Center opened at the end of November 2020. Along with housing, The Journey Center also provides food, shelter, clothing, lease management, employee assistance, medical and mental health services, children’s services, and financial resources to help get the families to a new home.
The story premieres on February 24 on Brigham Young University’s (BYU) tv program, “The Fixers”. Tune in and watch the transformation during the first public look into the center.