With the compliments of Benjamin Moore Paints, more than 100 gallons of Persimmon, Sage Tint, Texas Leather, Whipple Blue and Dill Pickle have been used to paint the Salvation Army Clark County Day Resource Center (DRC), a facility for the homeless and one of several buildings within the five-acre Salvation Army campus in Las Vegas.
The painting is part of "Color Care Across America" where 51 emergency shelters are undergoing the chromatic transformation. The goal is to paint shelters in each state plus one in Washington, D.C., before Thanksgiving. The shelters were chosen by the United States Conference of Mayors.
"The Color Care program was inspired in part by President Obama's call to service and by the growing ranks of homeless," said Carl Minchew, a director with Benjamin Moore. "It reflects the importance of forging partnerships between private enterprise and public service to find solutions for the kinds of issues that government no longer can afford to cope with alone. Our aim was to bring attention to this situation while helping to improve the living environments for those who seek the basic human need of having a roof over their heads."
A crew of volunteer apprentice painters from the Las Vegas Painter's Union Apprentice Program tackled the project. The painting enabled them to accrue hours and experience toward receiving their journeyman status, an international certification for contract painting jobs.
Rashad Law, an apprentice painter, said the one-week project was good for him.
"It takes time to accumulate the hours to advance to journeyman status," he explained. "We had master painters here instructing us on some of the tricks of the trade. It's very detailed work and it's been educational and beneficial for me. We painted every room, door and window inside the building excluding bathrooms."
Truly Treadwell, master journeyman painter, said she regularly volunteers her time.
"I'm involved in several programs like this one where I voluntarily paint projects in the inner city," said Treadwell. "It's important to me because I know a fresh coat of paint can brighten lives and uplift the spirits of our neediest citizens."
The director of social services for the Salvation Army, David Robeck, said the DRC, which has not been painted in 20 years, has been busier than ever.
"This has been a difficult time and we're seeing more than 300 people coming in and out of here daily," he said. "We're open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. but those hours fluctuate depending on the weather as the DRC is a designated cooling center in the summer and a warming center during the winter. People know they can walk in just to get off the street or have a place to relax and get refreshed. We have shower facilities and they can use a phone or talk to one of our counselors. A person needs a place to spend a few hours and find someone who is nice to them because the streets can be mean."
Robeck has noticed that younger people are coming in more than ever before, along with married couples.
"It's a different kind of homeless as many of these people have never been homeless before," he explained. "They are really trying to get back on their feet and it's difficult to transition into jobs and homes of their own."
Mayor Carolyn Goodman, who nominated the shelter to the mayors conference and painted one of the walls a bright persimmon, thanked Benjamin Moore for coming to Las Vegas.
"With the failure of the national economy to rebound and the dwindling resources on the ground, many people are out of work, homeless and must turn to these shelters for help," she said. "The power of color has a proven emotional impact and even the simplest painting makeover can yield an uplifting experience."
According to Minchew, Benjamin Moore will leave behind a few extra gallons with brushes and rollers in case residents, staff or volunteers feel inspired to spruce up other areas of the house that might need painting.
Benjamin Moore is expected to donate more than 7,000 gallons of paint for the nationwide project.