A new life is coming to the Abington Memorial Hospital in Washington state, but it won’t be easy.
As the state prepares to celebrate its 100th birthday, a group of orphans are trying to save the hospital, which opened in 1876 and was one of the first to treat tuberculosis.
“The orphanage is going to be a place of refuge for people that need a second chance, a place that’s safe, that’s a place where you can come back to,” said Amy Sussman, the group’s director.
“They’re going to have a chance to live again.”
In 2018, the hospital’s residents will be treated at an orphan shelter called the Abingdon Center for Homeless Youth.
“This is a great opportunity for us to really start to heal this community and create a future where people can come to this community, where they can live a life of dignity,” said Sussmans daughter, Brittany Sussmann.
She is the president of the group that’s trying to get a permanent home for the orphanage’s residents.
The group is looking to build a permanent shelter in Washington.
It’s also looking for ways to create an orphan care community to keep the orphans safe.
The Abingdo Center is a partnership between the Washington State Department of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and it’s looking to raise $3 million for the facility and the children living there.
Sussons mother, Debby Sussmen, said the state’s orphan shelter is a perfect place for the orphans to live.
“It’s not the kind of place you go to if you’re a person of color, and we have so many of those folks in our community,” she said.
“So this is a place for people who have been neglected, who have suffered a traumatic event, who are just people who want to come back, and just have a safe place to come home and be a part of this family.”
She said the orphan program could provide a sense of community.
“We’re just trying to give them a home that they want to go back to.”
The state is also looking to get the orphans into a halfway house, where their treatment could be paid for through the state.
But, as with many other issues, funding is the biggest hurdle, Sussmas said.
The state estimates the program will cost $40,000 to $50,000.
It also has to work with the federal government on finding ways to get $6.5 million in grants to the state, which is a major source of funding for the hospital.
So far, Sommers mother says the state has received $4.8 million from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, which has provided more than $5 million to the orphan center.
“That’s not enough to support them,” she added.
“I’m just praying that when the time comes to really do this, that the federal money can come through, so that they can do something to help these kids, because that’s so important to us.”
The shelter has had a rough history.
The facility has been shuttered three times since it opened.
The last time was in 2014, when a fire destroyed part of the hospital and caused $200,000 in damage.
The hospital reopened in 2019, and the current building has a roof on it, but Suss’ mother said the roof will be taken down in the next few weeks.
“Once the roof is taken down, they’re going away and it won.t be the same,” she explained.
“If the roof falls off, the whole thing is going down.”
She also said the new building would have to be renovated to meet state standards, which she said would cost around $1.2 million.
The new facility is also in dire need of repairs, with $1 million in repairs needed to the hospital since the fire.
“In terms of the mental health needs of the staff, the beds are overcrowded,” said Stephanie Brown, the director of the state Department of Human Services.
“You have beds that are in the middle of the floor.
It can be hard to sleep, especially when you’re looking at someone that is a very, very young child that’s about to start school.”
Brown said the department is working on the building’s exterior to make sure it’s safe for people to sleep.
“Our hope is that we can make the building livable for everyone,” she continued.
But for now, the shelter will remain closed until a permanent location is found.