The Hope Center is making progress in its goal to provide a "one-stop shop" for providing resources to community people in need.
Dr. Carson Hopkins has offered the use of the former Cox building in the 300 block of South Main Street, which he owns, as a home for the center for the next four years. That's an important step, according to the Rev. Scott Powell, pastor at Abundant Harvest Church of the Nazarene.
"It's hard to talk to and invite resources to integrate with us when we don't have a building," he noted.
A couple of options were available, and Hopkins' building was considered best to provide room for resource organizations and space for the board of directors.
Powell leads the board as president. The Rev. Terry Stafford of Pratt Free Methodist Church is vice president. Stephanie Becker will serve as secretary and Jeanette Gaider as treasurer. Nine pastors and community members round out the board, along with four people who serve as members at large.
Seven churches have agreed to partner in the venture. A financial commitment is implied with that step, and about $10,000 will be available each year from that source. Special donations add another $14,000 and at an organizational meeting last week, a community member presented a $10,000 grant to help with establishment of the facility and start-up costs.
The board estimates they will need at least $41,000 for utilities, insurance and a director's salary. They are in the process now of developing a job description for the director, which is hoped will be a full-time position. It may take a couple of years to get there, however, Powell said.
He thinks that at least five or six organizations will choose to come into the building to share overhead costs.
The real advantage of Hope Center, however, will be to coordinate resources available, whether they are right there on Main Street or located somewhere else. Powell said all resource guides they've been able to come up with are about five years out of date.
"Things are constantly shifting and if we (pastors) don't know it, how will people in need," he observed.
The group is actively looking for sponsorships to cover start-up costs and overhead, as well as benevolence gifts that can be directed for a particular resource group or distributed as determined by the board of directors.
They also need volunteers for daily chores like stocking, sorting, filing and transporting, and for special projects and needs such as mechanical, plumbing and light construction.
Anyone who wants to help in any way is encouraged to call Powell during office hours at the church at 672-7920 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A public presentation and fund-raiser for Hope Center is being planned for late September.