Our House to Build Center for Homeless Children in Arkansas
By Malcolm Glover
Homelessness among children is on the rise and Arkansas has the third highest rate of child homelessness in the country.
To confront the problem of homeless youth, which has increased by 38 percent nationwide since 2007, the Our House shelter in Little Rock is preparing to build a $3.8 million facility to meet the needs of these children.
Executive Director Georgia Mjartan says the 18,500 square foot children’s center gives homeless youth a safe space to study, play, and get additional support while their parents are either at work or out trying find jobs.
“We’re building a space that can be fun, engaging, and a learning center for 142 young children and school-aged children every day of the year, because that’s what homeless children need,” Mjartan said. “The center will have a preschool, nursery, early-learning classrooms, activity space for teenagers, and other services.”
Mjartan says, two years ago, there was a 47 percent increase in the number of children getting help and support services from Our House. She says that number increased by 16 percent last year.
Our House still needs to raise $1 million to begin building the center in the spring. Click here to learn more.