Group that helps families asks for help

(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

BONO, AR (KAIT) - A non-profit organization is looking for a few good men and women.

The Crowley's Ridge Development Council is a non-profit organization that relies on donations, grants and state funding to help them provide all the services they do.

Chastity Kelley, Director of Housing for CRDC, said they have a wide variety of programs to help as many people as possible.

"The Crowley's Ridge Development Council services families in eight counties," Kelley said. "We have low-income housing, affordable housing, the LiHeap program that we offer for utility assistance, weatherization, NEAT, AR Choices Meals for the elderly and just any type of human services issues you have. Sometimes if we have funds available we help with deposits on rent. Utility is our main thing that we focus on."

The CRDC has purchased the Plainview Terrace Apartments in Bono.

Now, they are searching for contractors to repair and remodel the units.

"We purchased Plainview," Kelley said. "Which is 46 apartments, at the end of February. We have a bid day which is coming up on Wednesday, the 19th of July from 9 to 11:30 a.m. We want all contractors and subcontractors to come out. We're dividing it up by roofing, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, flooring, any type of subcontractors that do work, we're wanting them to come out. And it's labor only. The CRDC is going to furnish all materials."

The CRDC's mission is to provide leadership in the creation of opportunities for disadvantaged individuals and families to achieve greater self-sufficiency in the lives, thereby eliminating the causes of poverty in Northeast Arkansas.

Kelley said the tenants living in Plainview need the communities help.

"This is a definite need to serve all these families that live out here," Kelley said. "And to help the community as well. Without our help, some of these families could be homeless. A lot of them could be having to pay a lot of rent to where they get their assistance through HUD to help pay their rent. If it wasn't for us who knows where they would be right now."

Erica Webb and her family live in the Plainview Terrace Apartments.

She says there are a number of things that need attention.

"For the last two years we've had to use window units," Webb said. "Our tile floor is coming apart. My son takes up the tile and plays with it because it's falling apart in there. Our bathtub leaks all the time. Our toilet runs all the time."

"We're having major issues with the air conditioning," Kelley said. "As we all know, it's extremely hot and humid. That is one of our primary goals in the very beginning. Is to get the roofs complete and the AC running. So, all of our families will have cool houses to live in and the kids will have a cool environment as well."

Webb said the air conditioner they have in their window isn't solving their problem.

"They don't help everything," Webb said. "The bathroom gets hot. It gets really hot in there because it's the most isolated room in the house. It gets hot in the bathroom. Taking showers is awful."

Webb said CRDC has already made a huge difference in their quality of life.

"We have been struggling to find jobs out here," Webb said. "And they've been helping us out with utilities. They've helped us out with our rent. We have a place to stay and a roof over our head and things we need for our kids while we're not able to take care of it ourselves. And they're trying to come out here and fix all this which is really nice.  Because it's been pretty run down recently. So, it'll be nice to get everything all fixed up."

Kelley said they don't intend to stop with repairs.

They want to help the community thrive, Kelley said.

"We want to do a community garden," Kelley said. "We want to get all the tenants and the kids involved and help them grow tomatoes and cucumbers and different types of vegetables. We've even talked about doing after school tutoring once we get all the repairs and remodel complete. We also have NEAT through CRDC, as well that can help with transportation from Bono to Jonesboro. This will help with doctors' appointments or going to Wal-Mart because Bono doesn't have a grocery store."

But as a non-profit organization, the CRDC can only help as far as the support they receive from the community and state.

"Any little bit helps," Kelley said. "Five dollars helps. That can buy items for our necessities closet. We offer that. If you're not able to buy toilettes, diapers, wet wipes, everything that's expensive that maybe SNAP benefits don't cover. We have a necessities closet. Five or ten dollars makes a difference as well."

"It would be really nice to donate to the CRDC," Webb said. "They are very helpful. They are trying to help all the people who are doing everything they can. So, they need help helping us while we're trying to get back on our feet."

Officials said they are looking at the bid packages for each scope of work.

Again, the bids are for labor only and the CRDC will furnish the following materials:

  • Roofing labor
  • Siding and windows
  • Plumbing labor only, replacing faucets, hot water heaters, replacing any plumbing needs and replacing toilets.
  • Flooring labor only
  • Paint and repair of any sheet rock needed labor only
  • Trim work, hanging interior and exterior doors, baseboards, window sills, and any extra carpentry work needed.
  • Electrical labor only, replacing all interior and exterior light fixtures, vent fans, GFI outlets, with any additional electrical deemed.
  • Refurbish tubs
  • Kitchen cabinets, replace bottoms of cabinets, some counter tops, strip and refinish, if needed.

The CRDC is also encouraging bidders to visit the job site on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in order to walk the project.

The visits will be from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. and a bidder's conference will start at 12:30 p.m. to answer all questions.

The location of the conference is 2401 Fox Meadow Lane in Jonesboro

For more information on the conference, call Christian Gibson at 870-802-7100.

Jonesboro Blue Print has blueprints and the retainer fee form.

Please state on the outside of the sealed envelope what category and each bid must be in a separate envelope.
Sealed bids will be received until 2:00 p.m. on July 24 at the Crowley’s Ridge Development Council office located at 2401 Fox Meadow Lane in Jonesboro.

If you would like to help the CRDC help the families and many others, you can also make a donation at their main office in Jonesboro or participate in the Friday, July 14 Memphis Redbirds game.

"We have tickets reserved," Kelley said. "Through a portal through Redbirds and it has a portal that has CRDC on it. The game starts Friday the 14th at 7:05 p.m. The judge in our area that sells the most tickets gets to throw out the first pitch. So, we've got a competition going on amongst the judges."

For more information about the CRDC, click here.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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