Residents in Old Town Alexandria are celebrating a new beginning for an old building. 

“Without this place I don’t know where I would be,” said Tyrice Stanton, resident at the Christ House.

The Catholic Charities’ Christ House, a transitional homeless shelter that, since 1974, has served daily meals for those in need. 

“We have four programs that focus on our clients in the area, the first is a transitional housing program, we have 14 homeless men that live in Christ house,” John Croft, program director for Christ House said.

Recently, the 210-year-old building, built sometime during the War of 1812, got an $83,000 makeover. The renovations included upgrades to its soup kitchen, dining room, as well as residents’ rooms and bathrooms. Christ house currently serves as a transitional home to 14 men, a food pantry, an emergency assistance service center, and a nightly soup kitchen. 

The facelift was well-received by the men who currently live there.

“Once they re-did it…man it’s like everything is so much brighter. When you wake up you’re in a happier, brighter mood, you know, you want to get up and explore now,” Stanton said. 

“This place basically saved my life because without here I didn’t know what I was gonna do or where I was gonna go. Everyone knows Toys-R-Us shut down, so I had no job either. I was working at Toys-R-Us overnight and I was staying on the street from unfortunate events that happen in life,” he added. 

“For all of our clients who come here 7 days a week, the place looks really nice, it really adds to the spirit and really helps us with our ministry,” Croft said.