JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A group that's been giving back to the community for over 40 years made a huge move Wednesday.
Members of First Baptist Church in Jonesboro have operated the Care Center since 1974.
The center provides a variety of services to those in need.
However, the center was located inside an old hotel building on Union Street, much of it unable to be utilized due to its poor state.
This week, the Care Center opened at its new location on Madison Street.
Kristie Stokes, the church's pastor for missions and community outreach, said this move has been a long time coming.
"We have needed to be in a new facility for many years," Stokes said. "We actually started the renovations on this building at the end of last summer. So, we worked all through the fall to get moved in. But this is a need we have had for many, many years. To be in this new space. To have this extra room and to be in a more inviting and welcoming place where we're able to share love is a huge blessing. It's a huge blessing for those of us who get to serve here and a blessing for our clients as well."
Stokes said they'll now be able to serve the community better in the new location.
"We are so excited to be in the new location for our Care Center," Stokes said. "It's really at the heartbeat of what we do. Our volunteers are so excited to be in this new place to meet the needs of our community and expand on that and continue to grow that. We serve a hot meal every day. Clients are able to come in and get groceries and to shop in our clothing area as well. We've done this for years and years."
The new Care Center location has space designated for the grocery store, a clothing store and a dining hall area to receive a hot meal.
Stokes said the clients seem to be as excited about the new facility as the volunteers.
"We have clients who come in and see us every day that we're open," Stokes said. "So, many of them came through and expressed how happy they were to be in our new spot."
Client Mary Litle of Bono said she's grateful for the organization and the new building they're in.
"I love these people," Litle said. "They help me out when I need help and I try to help them when they need help. I love the new building. I got lost. I went, no that ain't it!"
Volunteer Joey Byrne said he's thrilled with the new location.
"This new building we're in is a lot better," Byrne said. "It's much cleaner, and the old building we used to be in was an old motel. It was run down looking, and the dining room wasn't big enough to sit down and eat. It was always too crowded. The clothing department is much bigger than it was."
Over 250 people visited the Care Center on Wednesday alone.
It is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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