PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - A faith-based rehabilitation center that helps men recover from addiction is finally going to be located in-state.
Shepherd's Fold Ministry is currently based in Cardwell, Missouri but officials have been working for years to move into Arkansas.
Executive Director Steve McCracken said about 98% of their clients already come from Arkansas.
So, they closed on a house and just over 5 acres of land in Paragould last week.
"There are so many benefits to us being what we would call a local ministry now," McCracken said. "The availability of work, the closeness to the workplaces like the factories, the availability of Walmart and different places. Now that we're more centralized, we're more apt to go to churches and go to places that we wouldn't ordinarily go because of the distance from the other location."
Even though they have always gotten several residents from Arkansas, some probation officers do not feel comfortable sending people across state lines, so this move will open the ministry up to more men.
"I actually was speaking to a probation officer this morning and she was very excited that we were coming to the area, giving this area another option, another resource if you will, to send their clients. And we just hope to be as big a benefit to them as we can be," McCracken said.
This will also allow the ministry to work more closely with Arkansas court and DHS systems, to better help their clients.
One Paragould pastor said he expects the community to embrace the organization and what it can offer to those in need.
"I really believe they will," said Tim Ohler, the pastor of First Church of God. "I know he's got major support from many of the churches, the pastors. And as far as the connection he's got with many of these guys and their families, I don't see why anyone wouldn't welcome them to be here."
Ohler encouraged the community members to pray for the ministry and the men who are going through the rehabilitation.
"This place has great potential for growing the ministry in more than just one aspect," Ohler said. "The guys staying here, they can get involved in community events and people can get involved with helping them do that as well so I think there's a lot of opportunity for participation."
McCracken said they have already had a licensed counselor from the Paragould area offer to come to the house and provide services to the men.
"I knew all along that getting over here would expand the opportunity for empowerment and enrichment in the lives of men we serve so we're greatly excited about that," McCracken said. "Just being able to open more doors to the men we serve, that's where the blessing is at because the lives that are going to be changed, the families that are going to be impacted, and the community that is going to be enriched because of what we do."
The ministry currently houses 19 men and McCracken hopes to add about 10 more beds in this new location.