HUB needs volunteers help to help homeless get back on their feet

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

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Helping Underserved Belong (HUB) has been operating in Jonesboro for a year now, with a goal of providing help to those in need.

Volunteer Director Chuck Kirkindall said the HUB has been running smoothly, but they need volunteers so they can continue helping others.

"What we're having trouble with is finding core volunteers who can come each and every week on Tuesdays and Thursdays," Kirkindall said.

Kirkland said they need someone who can be there.

"A core volunteer is someone who can come to the HUB and volunteer every week. A lot of people who want to help are having trouble with jobs and things like that, meeting those hours, because we're only open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Those are our operational hours," Kirkindall said.

Kirkland said the work they're doing at the HUB is important.

"It's run by all volunteers and we are able to connect the homeless with services such as emergency shelters, referrals for health care, but our biggest connection we make for the homeless is jobs," Kirkindall said. "Our goodwill ambassador is able to connect the homeless with jobs. Whether they are felons or not, we have felon friendly businesses we work with here in Jonesboro to connect the homeless with jobs."

Kirkland said they want to help those in need permanently fix their problems.

"The goal of the HUB is to allow the homeless to start their lives again and one of the things I've noticed in working with the homeless is their willingness to get a job. Some people just need an opportunity and that's the biggest thing we provide, an opportunity to start again with job connections," Kirkindall said.

There are several things a volunteer can do at the HUB to make a difference.

"A volunteer at the HUB has three main duties," Kirkindall said. "The first is they can work at the front desk. The second is they can work in the hospitality room or the third is they do intakes. This is where they meet the homeless person, spend a little bit of time finding out what their needs are. And then, referring them to the appropriate social service agencies here in Jonesboro or in Craighead County."

Kirkland said they're looking for special people who want to help those in need of a second chance.

"The main quality we're looking for in volunteers of the HUB is a person with a big heart. Someone who is compassionate and understands what it means to need a second chance," Kirkindall said. "So, we're looking for that retired teacher, we love our retired veterans. We're looking for anyone who has free time on Tuesdays and Thursdays with a big heart who wants to give back and believes in second chances."

Kirkland said they've made a huge difference in the year they've been open.

"The HUB has been open almost a full year, and in that year, we've served about 500 homeless people here in Jonesboro," Kirkindall said. "That's homeless men, women, children, families that we have served thanks to the mayor's task force that created the HUB."

If you'd like to volunteer, the HUB is located in downtown Jonesboro at 711 Union Street.

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