Mission Outreach announces major expansion that exceeds expectations

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 organization has announced a major expansion project that will help them help even more people.

"In the last couple years, our bed capacity has not been enough to support Northeast Arkansas," Jamie Collins, Executive Director of Mission Outreach told Region 8 News.

That won't be the case much longer. Expanding the Mission is one step closer to becoming a reality as they recently purchased a former nursing home in Jonesboro.

The building far exceeds the expectations they had in mind for the size of the new facility that's set to house families, women and children.

"It was too good to pass up," Collins said. "We've quadrupled our space."

For Mission Outreach, the former Jonesboro Healthcare Center on Southwest Drive is everything they could ask for and more. It's a former nursing home with 55 available rooms and an attached 16-unit efficiency apartment complex.

"In looking at our original plan, we were going to build a 9,000 square foot facility just for women and children," Collins explained.

That building would have cost $107 a square foot to build.

"We were able to get this piece of property, which adds 31,000 square feet, for $37 a square foot."

To put that into perspective, their original plans would have constructed a building only as large as that attached apartment complex.

Not only does this facility exceed expectations, it still meets other needs the Mission has.

"The set-up here allows us to still segregate populations," Collins said. Something that is beneficial in helping those who come to the Mission.

Collins explained the facility will mainly house families, women and children. The attached apartment complex will be used to teach people daily living skills such as budgeting their money and keeping a job.

"We're seeing a rapid increase in young men 17-23 years old that are not equipped with the life skills they need to succeed," Collins said. "We want to quickly be able to give them the opportunity to stabilize, develop the skills that they need."

Collins said that's the same case for the women and children who come to Mission Outreach.

Another major issue the expansion will address is capacity.

"We're having to turn a lot of people away so this also will allow us perhaps to not have to do that," Collins said.

The Mission has already partnered with quite a few businesses in the area too, such as Arkansas State University and Families Incorporated.

While Collins said they need to raise about $500,000 in capital for things like upgrades and repairs to the buildings, the goal is for the building to be open by October.

Copyright 2014 KAIT. All Rights Reserved.