Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hotel History and Plans

Did you know that Hotel Louisville, Wayside’s recent purchase and effort to relocate our family and women’s campus, was at one time the location of Saint Xavier’s High School, known to us all as St. X.? Prior to the school, the location also was the original home of Second Presbyterian Church which is now located on Brownsboro Road. Both the school and the church are solid parts of the Mission’s programs even today. St. X sends students to the Mission each year to learn more about homelessness and poverty. Students then volunteer in the Mission’s kitchen and day care for several weeks. Second Presbyterian Church is also one of the leading financial supporting churches for Wayside. Numerous volunteers come from the church’s membership helping in a variety of ways: serving in the kitchen, offices, child care and on the board of directors. The church has held fundraisers for the Mission and allows Wayside to apply for grants each year. Most recently the church purchased a food storage building and members came out on a Saturday and built shelving for canned goods to use in our kitchen.

Another interesting story about the Hotel is that it is said to have four ghosts. The story is that one ghost is in the basement (left over from the St. X campus, when a maintenance man died in the boiler room and was not discovered for several days), a female ghost on the third floor (a long term hotel guest who rented the entire floor for three and a half years, finally dying on the floor and who was know for making her clothing out of aluminum foil), one on the eighth floor (a business man that always rented the same room and died one night in that room), and on the 12th or top floor a betrayed bride in her wedding gown (she was accidentally shot with a small caliber revolver when on her wedding day in her gown walked in on the groom and the maid of honor in a compromising position - a fight between the bride and maid of honor began and the groom tried to break it up only to have his revolver accidently drop to the floor and discharge killing the bride). In the past the hotel has been the starting place for ghost walks in Louisville. So far we have not had any sightings but the Louisville Paranormal Department of the University of Louisville has a call into us - we don't know why but will keep you informed. We are not sure about these stories but we have been told that these are friendly ghosts, like Casper (we hope).

We began holding Sober Living Classes at the hotel soon after we finally secured possession. The women from the shelter on Market Street cannot believe how beautiful and well equipped this building is for classes and eventually lodging. Our board and architects at Qk4 are working on tackling the remaining problems needing to be resolved before moving in completely. The kitchen is to be inspected next week and is expected to pass with flying colors.

There are a number of possibilities for the hotel’s future. We are discussing the parking lot with JCTC. The school is in immediate need for additional parking and the hotel lot may be one solution for the school. Since the Mission will likely only use only half of the building in the immediate future other groups have been interested in renting rooms for office space, which will help offset our operating costs. We will likely open a restaurant and Christian Coffee House both open to the public which will allow our clients to work and receive income while receiving job training. We will relocate our Art Gallery from Market Street with the help of our wonderful volunteer Elmer Lucille Allen who directs the showings. The gallery displays art from homeless shelter guests from across the city with that of local artists. We hope to dedicate two floors for a “College and Career” program, assisting homeless clients in education and support while in technical school or local colleges. Our board is also considering operating two floors as a hotel for conventions and for Derby. The top floor may also be rented for weddings and receptions. We will work closely with other non- profits allowing the use of meeting rooms and the grand ballrooms when those are available. We will make these available to businesses on a fee basis. Using a conference room or hotel rooms is an excellent way for companies to support the Mission while receiving a service that they would be paying for regardless.

These are just a few of our ideas and we welcome more. Please email me at or call 584-3711.

Quotes from Mother Teresa we should all try to live by

The Paradoxical Commandments

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.