Our House Meets $3.8M Goal for Children's Center; Construction to Begin May 9

Our House, the Little Rock nonprofit that helps the working homeless, said Wednesday that it has met its $3.8 million fundraising goal and will begin construction of a new Children's Center in May.

"We are thrilled that our vision for expanding our programs for the most disadvantaged children in our community will become a reality," Georgia Mjartan, Our House's executive director, said in a news release.

"And we are incredibly grateful to the hundreds of families, companies, and foundations that have chosen to invest in this project, which will have a positive impact in the lives of thousands of children and families over the coming years."

In December, Our House announced a campaign to raise the final funds needed to pay for construction of the planned, 19,367-SF, estimated to cost $3.8 million. At the time, the nonprofit had raised $2.66 million, including a $665,000 challenge grant from the J.E. & L.E. Mabee Foundation. Our House had to raise all of the $3.8 million by April 10 to receive the challenge grant.

Our House said all but one of the donors was private. It said Pulaski County provided funding for environmental remediation of the building site, which is adjacent to Our House's campus at 302 E. Roosevelt Road. 

Our House operates the state's only children's programs specifically for homeless, formerly homeless, and near-homeless children, including a licensed child development center for children ages 0-5 and an out-of-school-time youth program for children ages 6-17.

The new Children's Center will serve as many as 142 children per day, up from Our House's current capacity of fewer than 50.

Money raised so far will cover construction costs. Our House is raising more money to cover playgrounds, furnishings and equipment for the new building.

Construction on the center is set to begin on May 9 and will last about 11 months. Herron Horton Architects of Little Rock designed the Children's Center. Nabholz Construction Services of Little Rock is the project's general contractor.