The House of the Carpenter was created in 1970 in cooperation with the West Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church as a mission project with the purpose of addressing the growing needs of individuals and families, resulting from the decline in the coal and steel industries in the region.
It began in an old Victorian style home on Wheeling Island, shown to the right. Out of this building a clothing center, food pantry, and utility assistance were provided for thirty years. In 2000, a new building was constructed, pictured below to the left, and the House of the Carpenter moved a little to the south to 200 S. Front Street, where we continue to operate today. The original building has been converted to the “Guest House”. Here we have hosted work teams from California to Boston while they work on home improvement projects and mobility related projects in the Wheeling area.
The programs of the House of the Carpenter have become very intentional in focus on supporting the work of transformation. Consequently, this has produced a myriad of events focused on children/youth. However, the facility on S. Front was never designed for this type of ministry. Recognizing the importance of this work, the Board of Directors began exploring the development of a Youth Center adjacent to the current building. Years of work went into designing, planning and preparing for such a large project. Construction began in 2019 and by spring of 2020 the Toni and Nancy Bedway Center for Youth was ready to open.
Since the opening, there has been a significant amount of work developing programs and operating some programs in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. As we collectively move out of the pandemic, more programming will be developed in order to enrich the lives of the community we serve.
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