SEARCY, Ark. — A nonprofit organization in White County is hoping to help people in tough situations get back on their feet and live a productive life.
Searcy is undergoing the ‘Small Business Revolution,’ but Jacob’s Place has its own revolution in mind.
They’re hoping to change the face of homelessness in White County.
Jacob’s Place Homeless Mission makes sure families with children who find themselves homeless are taken care of.
“We do offer shelter as part of that, but we also make sure that we take our residents within the first two weeks of living here and we make sure that their mental and physical needs are met, that they are starting to work towards parenting classes or family counseling services,” Executive Director Bonny Gregory said.
Now, they are “thinking outside the house.”
They are leading the new organization, the White County Coalition for Homelessness, and hope to provide more than immediate needs.
“We are expanding our program to be all about preventative outreach, so we’re partnering with other agencies in town," Gregory said.
They are partnering with restaurants to supply parents with jobs and one of those is Dickey’s BBQ.
“It feels good, but you know they’re also good employees. So they’re helping me just as much as I’m helping them. Good times, bad times, everybody deserves a second chance so that’s why I got involved with that,” manager Joseph Whitman said.
They’re also partnering with the Literacy Council and ARcare who will be providing transportation to their clinics.
“That is so huge because we do not have public transportation here in Searcy, so being able to offer something like that is priceless,” Gregory said.
Unfortunately, as the community grows, so does poverty.
“The homeless community in White County is growing. We are having a ‘revolution,’ which is wonderful. We just won the Hulu show. But, as the population rises, the population in other sectors also rises,” Gregory said.
Jacob’s Place wants to make sure people in need have a network of people they can rely on for their entire journey.
“We’re also going to be following up with an aftercare program so we’re not just going to say, ‘here you go, here’s your lease move out in the world.’ We’re going to hopefully stay with them through their journey and make sure that they don’t fall back into the same situation,” Gregory said.
Staff at Jacob’s Place said anyone can get involved with their mission, and they’re always in need of volunteers at the home and donations.
You can follow their mission on their Facebook page.