Pastor: Homeless Ministries of Jonesboro withdraws plans to transform facility

Pastor: Homeless Ministries of Jonesboro withdraws plans to transform facility
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Mayor Harold Perrin says he is "saddened" by the Homeless Ministries of Jonesboro's decision to withdraw their request to create a homeless shelter at a former nursing home on North Church Street.

Pastor Danny Pridmore confirmed to Region 8 News that following a board meeting Thursday, they made the decision to withdraw their application from the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission. The MAPC was set to meet Tuesday, Oct. 10, to discuss the issue.

Earlier this week, people who lived near the proposed facility spoke out against it.

Pridmore stated the board unanimously agreed that the location they initially chose was no longer a viable place for the Homeless Ministries of Jonesboro.

Last week, Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin announced plans to transform the former Ridgecrest Health and Rehabilitation Facility into a joint homeless shelter and crisis stabilization unit for people with mental health issues.

Craighead County was awarded grant money earlier this year to house one of four crisis stabilization units in the state.

Plans were later formed to place the crisis stabilization unit and a homeless shelter together at the location on North Church Street.

Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd told Region 8 News this also affects his plans to put the Crisis Stabilization Unit there, as they were going to lease a portion of the building.

"I understand the concerns of the opposition," Sheriff Boyd said. "From my perspective and financial side of what it could cost, it is a loss but the one thing we don't want to do is divide the community."

That's why Sheriff Boyd said they are now seeking other options.

Sheriff Boyd said they are now going back to the drawing board to figure out their next steps. He, County Judge Ed Hill, and Mayor Harold Perrin's office will meet soon to discuss where to go from here.

Sheriff Boyd added there's a possibility they'll construct the Crisis Stabilization Unit on the Craighead County Detention Center property.

On Friday, Mayor Perrin released this statement on the decision:

"I am saddened by our inability to secure a facility to serve our homeless population. Nothing affects a family's hope for the future like being evicted from their home, so we will continue to work for our homeless. But people need to understand the Homeless Ministries of Jonesboro is not trying to create halfway houses that will endanger neighborhoods. They want to be Christian brothers and sisters to our less fortunate residents in their time of need. I will say I am pleased with the progress of our HUB in serving the homeless with services and helping connect them with access to jobs and housing and other fundamental needs. We will continue to press forward to serve our most vulnerable."

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