At the Richmond City Commission meeting Tuesday evening, Jennifer Lainhart of Hope's Wings domestic violence shelter informed the commission that the program is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this month.

"We took in our first residents at our shelter, this month, 10 years ago," Lainhart said.

Since then, Hope's Wings has housed more than 700 women and children in the emergency shelter.

Lainhart explained that at the program's inception, Hope's Wings only offered the emergency shelter service. Over the years, the program developed into a three-phase program that offers the emergency shelter, teaches them to become self sustainable and then proceeds to help them get back into their own homes, where they then help with financial literacy and knowledge of healthy relationships over the course of two years.

"Within those 10 years, we are making great strides in the community, but we also have found that the need for our services have outgrown the size of our building at this point," Lainhart said.

In saying that, she announced Hope's Wings is going to begin a "massive building fund" to add two additional bedrooms, a bathroom and a learning center onto the existing facilities. With these two new rooms, the shelter will be able to house eight more occupants.

Lainhart said with the new project, the program is beginning their big fundraising month in April, which includes a Jail to Bail fundraiser. On April 5, many well known Madison County community members and officials will be "arrested" by members of the Richmond Police Department between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and taken to the "jail" at the Central Bank.

During that time, the "jailbirds" are asked to call upon family and friends to "pay their bail," with a goal of raising $600 or more per person.

One hundred percent of those proceeds will be donated to the building fund. With the Jail to Bail fundraiser, Lainhart said, the group has been able to raise $30,000 in one afternoon.

"The reason we do that is because we have committed community members who want to see Hope's Wings succeed because they understand there is a need for this program in this city," Lainhart said.

In other business, Rose Rex, the Main St. Clean Sweep project coordinator, informed the Richmond City Board of Commissioners the clean sweep project will be held on Friday, April 12, this year from noon to 3 p.m.

The one day community clean up event is set on or around Earth Day and encourages community engagement in the beautification of the city by having members of the city and community to help pick up trash and litter through downtown.

Already in the city of Richmond, Rex has 10 teams that have committed so far. She hopes to have a goal of 100 volunteers, having 125 in the previous year's event.

"Not only do we want everyone to be involved, but I developed this event for local businesses around downtown and all the city departments and employees to engage in this event and to be on teams," Rex said. "It's just a fun, fun, fun, fun day."

The collected trash is set aside to be picked up by the streets department. The event is also statewide and will be held rain or shine.

The Board of Commissioners approved Order 19-28, which approved the electric vehicle charging station placement agreement between the city and Kentucky Utilities.

The two electric car chargers will be located in the west side of the City Hall parking lot, running along North Third Street.

"We have been working with Kentucky Utilities for about a month and a half on this, and come to found out, Madison County is one of many other counties in the state that has the most electric vehicles," City Manager Rob Minerich reported.

This station will only take up two parking spots and is no cost to the city. Installation will be handled by Kentucky Utilities.

"The idea is to bring people off the interstate with the increase of electric cars in our society," Minerich said. "We bring them off the interstate to come downtown and park for two to four hours, depending on what they need to charge their vehicle for, and hopefully they will visit downtown and eat and shop as well."

The cost to use the station is $3 per hour, but an application has been submitted to the public service commission to lower the price to $1 per hour.

Other business

• The Richmond Board of Commissioners approved an order that appointed a municipal services coordinator to the city's administration department. This position acts as a city liaison for public infrastructure and has a wide array of clerical duties and administrative support to both the city's finance and administration departments. David Mauck was awarded the position at $14 per hour.

• The city commissioners approved a resignation of Richmond police officer Kyle Morgan.

• The commissioners approved a zone change of a portion of the property at 606 Lancaster Ave. from a single family residential zone (R1) to a multifamily residential lot (R3).

The Richmond City Commissioners will meet for a workshop meeting March 19 at 9:30 a.m. at the Richmond City Hall conference room.

Reach Taylor Six at 624-6623 or follow her on Twitter @TaylorSixRR.

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