PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Shelters across Northeast Arkansas are working overtime to help people in need. According to the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas, every week 5,000 people visit Region 8 food banks and soup kitchens to help feed their families.
Mission Outreach of Paragon is a shelter that runs a food pantry and serves three meals a day to anyone in need.
"For a lot of people, this is the only place they have to go," Juston Jacob said. He and his wife have 3 young boys. He said when his family hit rock bottom, it was the shelter that helped them get back on their feet.
Jacob said without this shelter he doesn't know where they would be. "I can't really express how grateful I am for the place," Jacob said.
He said he's not the only one who needs help. Charles Morris volunteers at the front desk and said the community may not realize how many families are struggling around Northeast Arkansas.
"Phone rings 24/7, all day long," Morris said.
"There are people who call here every single day that need somewhere to go, and a lot of times we have to turn people away," Jacob said.
The shelter is currently full, but Mission Outreach still welcomes anyone to come in and take advantage of other services such as the food pantry or just to get a hot meal during the day.
Jacob said one service that really helped him was the help finding a job. "Give you transportation to look for a job," Jacob said. "Which was a lot because, you know, we don't have a car. We don't have anything."
Mission Outreach operates with help from donations, and it's those donations that help families like Jacob's build a life beyond their mistakes. "We are working on turning our lives around," Jacob said.
Morris added that the shelter helps people achieve goals they may never think are possible.
Jacob said he knows some are hesitant at times to ask for help, but he encourages anyone struggling to not let pride get the best of them. "Trying to make a step forward," Jacob said. "You shouldn't be embarrassed about it."
Mission Outreach of Paragon also offers people help with signing up for the affordable healthcare act, as well as counseling. The staff encourages anyone who needs help to stop by at 901 E Lake St, Paragon, AR 72450, or give them a call at 870-236-8080.