Nonetheless, Nathan Robert, owner of Arborhaven Investments, 409 Broad St., got to show off the renovations he’s done to the second floor of the building. The downtown merchants also got to tour the work in progress on the third floor, which Roberts hopes to convert into a residence.
The interior brickwork, more than 100 years old, features soft, sun-dried brick and a river-sand type of mortar, both of which are extremely delicate and a challenge to work with using modern rehabilitation techniques.
In other business, Jim Moore of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and Amy Weaver of Hospitality House spoke about upcoming events during the month of October.
NAMI will sponsor its first fundraising walk Oct. 13.
“It’s a walk to stomp out stigmas,” Moore told the merchants group. “We’re also trying to raise awareness and raise money.”
NAMI is the leading local advocate for better treatment of people who have mental illnesses. Moore’s group was a leader in the campaign to slow or prevent the closure of Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital in Rome last year. He said that in terms of providing long-term care for people with serious mental issues in Georgia, “all we do is stabilize them then send them back onto the street.”
Moore also explained that since Northwest Georgia Regional closed, the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office has had to establish a whole new mental health block at the jail.
Weaver said that the Hospitality House for abused women will host a candle light vigil Tuesday night to honor those victim’s of domestic violence that have died in the past year.
“We’ve had at least one annually (locally) for the last several years,” Weaver said. “This year is a little more special for us.”
On Oct. 19, men in Rome will don high heels for the annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, which will start at Heritage Park and end at the Rotary Plaza between the courthouse and The Forum. Last year more than 500 people took part in the walk.
Weaver said a new thrift store on Shorter Avenue has helped her recoup funding lost from government sources during the recession.
“We fund all kinds of expenses for victims who come to us to help them break free,” Weaver told the downtown business leaders.
The downtown merchants were advised that another Downtown Block Party is planned for Oct. 26. Details are still being ironed out.