Aftermath of shooting prompts Harbor House renovation

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HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) — It’s hard to move past a traumatic event without constant reminders of that experience, but officials at Henderson’s Harbor House Men’s Shelter are working to eliminate that possibility with upcoming renovations.

“The reality of what we have lost is hard to deal with,” says Coni Beck, pastor at Harbor House.

They say ‘time heals all wounds’, but those wounds are still fresh for Harbor House Community Church pastor Coni Beck. After the August 25 tragedy, Beck maintained constant communication with the men who were inside the homeless shelter during the shooting.

“Debriefing”, explains Pastor Coni. “Just, every night I ask them, and every day I ask, ‘Where are you in your head? What are you thinking? What’s the hardest thing to deal with right now?’

The hardest part might just be getting back to the scene. For this reason, Beck and other Harbor House officials began the first stages of renovating the facility.

“We’re concerned about the safety and security of all of our guys and the security of our building, so those are things we’re working on,” says Pastor Coni. “We’re really trying to give space and take as much time as we need to have them offsite right now.”

In addition to safety upgrades, which are yet to be determined, Beck says all flooring and furniture will be removed and replaced, which she says is crucial to the emotional well-being of shelter residents.

“We’re going to be making other cosmetic changes so that when the door opens what the guys see is a different picture. We want to help change what they see,” says Beck.

Drawing a positive balance sheet from a tragedy like a mass shooting is difficult, if not impossible, but Pastor Coni says the good of humanity is already showing through. She says community members have started placing flowers outside the doors of Harbor House and dropping off food and cash donations. She encourages the Henderson area to continue to show support for the men affected by this tragedy.

“Let’s honor these guys, let’s love them,” says Beck.

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