On Tuesday, Safe Haven, Middle Tennessee's only homeless shelter that keeps families together, announced a major renovation and expansion project.
"We are doubling our space, but it is more dramatic than just doubling our space," said Safe Haven's Executive Director Joyce Lavery. "We are going to go from five residential rooms to 10 larger rooms for families."
Safe Haven houses an average of 38 families, including 57 children, each year.
After the renovation and expansion, the shelter will be able to house around 100 families annually.
Kim Pickens is a mother of four and a former Safe Haven resident.
"I ended up at Safe Haven because of financial reasons and I was on the way to being homeless. I didn't want that for myself or my children," she told Nashville's News 2.
Pickens said she spent five months at Safe Haven in 2009.
"I learned things about myself. I learned how to budget and I did group therapy, I did self therapy, you know just got to talk about a lot of things that were on my chest and I was able to build my character up," she said
Pickens said while at Safe Haven she also worked, attended school full time and was able to save $3,000 by the time she left the shelter.
"Safe Haven is here and they will help you if you help yourself," she said. "You have got to work the program, but if I can do it anybody can do it."
Currently Safe Haven has raised nearly 75% of the $3 million needed to complete the project.
Community partners, donors and volunteers have helped Safe Haven Family Shelter reach their ground breaking milestone.
For more information on Safe Haven, visit their Web site.