You made Gateway Apartments happen

Posted on Jul 19, 2012 in Marc Sparks: In the News | 0 comments

Collin County citizens expand the Samaritan Inn’s mission

Dallas Morning News

Congratulations. You did it.

When the ribbon is cut on the new Gateway Apartments across from the Samaritan Inn on Wednesday, the cheers and applause is for you, the entire community of Collin County.

Sure, there were some major donors behind the transitional housing built by the county’s only homeless shelter. Yes, the board and staff of the Inn deserve a huge amount of credit for expanding their mission to help those people down on their luck with a hand up (not a handout).

But, seriously, this is the result of heartfelt and generous support from throughout the county.

For example, consider what Howard Rosenberg did. Like many of you, he read about the Samaritan Inn on this page, and he wanted to help. This Frisco resident happens to run All American Roofing & Construction, and so he literally put a roof over his neighbors’ heads – for free.

Or consider the generosity of the three brothers – Bill, Bob and Steve – who own Darling Homes – and their project leader, Bill Pierce, who oversaw every detail of the construction.

And, of course, there’s Marc Sparks, the philanthropist who doesn’t just write the checks, but who first got involved in the shelter by bringing truckloads of toiletries, cleaning supplies and food to the shelter in his spare time.

But did you also know that there is a waiting list for these new homes? Not just a waiting list for residents, but for donors. Groups are lined up waiting for a chance to furnish and decorate these apartments to help the Samaritan Inn residents get back on their feet.

Residents pay 25 percent of their paychecks for the homes, and when they move out into their own place, they take the furniture with them. Then another group – a Rotary Club, a booster club, a neighborhood association – rushes in to decorate the apartment for the next resident.

Gateway is not just a new apartment complex. It’s not just a small collection of affordable housing in a landscape more and more dominated by mammoth homes equipped with every luxury.

Gateway is a community-generated, perpetual difference-maker in the lives of North Texans. And you made it happen.

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