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O’Reilly Center for Hope opening as resource hub in north Springfield

Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 8:57 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The O’Reilly Center for Hope is aimed to help tackle homelessness by finding affordable housing for people in need, with several service agencies under one roof. It will open with a ribbon cutting on Friday.

“When someone comes in here, we want them to have hope. We want them to have hope for stabilization or to just get a basic need met," said Michelle Garand, Vice President of Affordable Housing and Homeless Prevention.

Garand said the concept for the resource hub was developed more than two decades ago. After looking at 56 locations, the Community Partnership of the Ozarks decided on the old Pepperdine school building in north Springfield.

“It really met the need to bring services to a quadrant of Springfield that didn’t have a lot of direct services provided," Garand said.

Garand said the center will house 20 agencies aimed at helping with housing and homelessness, as well as other underlying struggles like mental and physical health, money management and employment.

“It’s not a drop-in center, we’re not a shelter, but we are connecting people with resources that can stabilize in some way," Garand said.

Isabel’s House was one of the first partners to join. The emergency children’s shelter also provides case management.

“We know that there’s that need for more than just temporary refuge," said Natosha Lancaster, Program Director.

Lancaster said nearly half of the families who rely on Isabel’s House are homeless, and those in need will be able to access services by just walking into the office at the O’Reilly Center of Hope. She said before, families would need to call first.

“All of the community resources that we usually refer to are coming under one roof, and it makes it really great for families to be able to overcome some of the barriers like transportation," Lancaster said.

There will be laundry services, showers and public restrooms available, as well as public use computers and phones.

Community Partnership of the Ozarks lists the agencies that will be on-site:

  • AIDS Project of the Ozarks: Health screenings and access to supportive services.
  • Burrell Behavioral Health: Mental health and addiction services and support.
  • Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri: HUD-certified financial and housing counseling.
  • Consumer Credit Counseling Services: Credit repair and budgeting assistance.
  • Greene County Family Support Division: Food stamps and Medicaid.
  • Habitat for Humanity: Home ownership opportunities.
  • Isabel’s House: Crisis nursery services.
  • Legal Services of Southern Missouri: Legal assistance for low-income households.
  • MSU Care: Medical services and Medicaid application assistance.
  • Missouri State University School of Nursing: Wellness and wound care.
  • Missouri Job Center: Employment and workforce development services and training.
  • Missouri Works Assistance: TANF and employment assistance.
  • OACAC: Basic needs support and educational programming.
  • Springfield Community Land Trust: Affordable home ownership.
  • Springfield Police Department: Safety and security.
  • Veterans Administration: Healthcare for homeless veterans and veteran services.
  • WIC: Supplemental nutrition for women, infants and children.

Garand said this project is a community investment in providing hope for others.

“Sometimes its the only resource we can offer immediately to folks who are really experiencing some hardships," she said.

The O’Reilly Center for Hope will open with a ribbon cutting Friday morning at 10 a.m. It will be streamed live on the CPO’s Facebook page.

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