Shepherd's Fold works to expand ministry to Paragould with new h - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Shepherd's Fold works to expand ministry to Paragould with new home

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - A faith-based rehabilitation program in Region 8 is working to expand their ministry.

Shepherd's Fold can house 23 men at their location in Cardwell, MO. Last year, a strong supporter of the ministry bought a home on 6 acres of land in Paragould and gave it to them.

Since then, they've been working to remodel the home; but, before they can house men facing addictions, they need one thing.

"If we were to open this place right, by this time tomorrow evening, I'd have it full," Steve McCracken told Region 8 News.

McCracken is the president and founder of Shepherd's Fold. He explained that the ministry has been fixing up that Paragould home for months and they are trying to do it as economically as possible.

"We've come in and we've bought scrap sheet rock," McCracken said. "Just as God has provided. We've done just a little bit here and there."

The new home can house 8 to 10 men battling addictions. McCracken said although the program is based in Southeast Missouri, there is a great need in Northeast Arkansas. 

Since the program started nearly 5 years ago, a majority of the men at Shepherd's Fold have been from Arkansas.

"I know less than 5 of them have been from Missouri," McCracken said.

McCracken said most of the men at Shepherd's Fold come from Poinsett, Craighead and Lawrence Counties.

However, as probation officers aren't always willing to send men across state lines, McCracken said they can't help as many people as they'd like. He said it's imperative to get the Paragould home up and running.

"We're just trying to create more beds. Trying to help make a dent in this epidemic," he said.

But the remodeling process has brought many obstacles. Already, they've had to run water and plumbing to the home. McCracken said that $10,000 expense can be paid monthly. It's another multi-thousand dollar expense that's keeping them from opening the home.

"Having a congregate living facility, you have to have a sprinkler system," he said.

For the non-profit organization, it's a $16,000 expense they can't overcome alone.

Program graduate Clinton Carter said he struggled with addictions for 20 years. For him, Shepherd's Fold turned his life around and he wants other men to have that opportunity as well.

"Knowing that we can house 8 to 10 more men and that'll be 8 to 10 more guys that have a chance at having their life restored," Carter said. "Become productive in society and just having the restoration of their family back, that's a wonderful feeling."

McCracken told Region 8 News that until they get the money for the sprinkler system, they will continue to remodel.

He said without the sprinkler system, they can move one man into the house. However, if more than one man lives at the home, they must have a sprinkler system in place. 

Shepherd's Fold has been able to make a small dent in the overall cost of the sprinkler system through a GoFundMe account. Though they are thankful for their donations so far, McCracken said he hopes more people are called to help, whether it be through donating time, money or skills.

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