by Kate Knable
Posted 12/13/2012 02:18 pm
Updated 2 years ago
Representatives of Little Rock homeless shelter Our House on Thursday announced a campaign to raise the final funds needed to pay for construction of a new children's center.
The 18,500-SF children's center is a $3.8 million project. Our House has already raised $2.66 million, including a $665,000 challenge grant from the J.E. & L.E. Mabee Foundation. Our House must raise all of the $3.8 million by April 10 to receive the challenge grant.
The new children's center would allow the shelter nearly to triple the number of children it can serve daily.
Our House currently has the space to serve 50 children per day. The new facility would allow Our House to serve 142 children per day through expansion of its licensed child development center for children between the ages of 0 and 5, and after school and weekend youth programs for children between the ages of 6 and 17.
"Arkansas has the third worst rate of child homelessness in the country, and we have experienced an influx of homeless children at Our House," said Georgia Mjartan, executive director of the nonprofit shelter. "We cannot continue to turn away homeless children and their parents when we know that our programs can change their life trajectory.
"We see the greatest return on our investment with our youngest clients. Working with them now has a lifelong impact and saves our community millions of dollars."