Our House Opens the Doors to $5 Million Children’s Center
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Our House) – Our House, an organization that serves the working homeless through housing, job training, education, child care, and youth programs, will open the doors to a new $5-million Children’s Center on its campus on June 7. The center will provide a safe and enriching atmosphere for 150 homeless or near-homeless children ages 0-17 every day, three times the number that could be accommodated in the past.
“With the help of this community, we can invest in the future of Arkansas in a way we never have before,” Executive Director Georgia Mjartan said. “We will be able to fight homelessness generationally, creating a pathway out of poverty for thousands of families.”
With the new building, Our House will be able serve more children with more programs than ever before. These year-round, state-licensed children’s programs not only make it easier for parents to find and keep a full-time job, but they also give Our House the opportunity to invest time, energy, and resources to help children thrive emotionally, developmentally, and academically.
Our House could not have raised the necessary funds without the support of its donors, including the J.E & L.E. Mabee Foundation, the Windgate Charitable Foundation and 490 other supporters. The building and the families that will be transformed inside it are a direct result of their generosity.
The organization was also able to secure $1 million through the New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC) to complete the project. This program was created to promote private investment into revitalization efforts in economically distressed communities across the country. Our House secured investments from two national funders, JP Morgan Chase and Brownfield Revitalization LLC, to close the NMTC deal.
The 19,000 square foot Children’s Center was designed by Herron Horton Architects and built by Nabholz.
Little Learners, the licensed child development center at Our House, recently earned certification as an Arkansas Better Beginnings facility. Better Beginnings’ rating system goes beyond the minimum licensing standards in Arkansas and evaluates the quality of child care and early education experiences. Little Learners has five classrooms in the new Children’s Center and a daily capacity of 60 children ages 0-5.
Our Club, the licensed out-of-school-time youth program at Our House, also has five classrooms in the new Children’s Center, including a dedicated technology center and creative space. In the new Children’s Center, Our Club will be able to provide after-school and summer enrichment programs, academic assistance, and college and career preparedness programming to 90 children ages 6-17.
Our House has begun accepting volunteers to assist with its rapidly growing programs. Through volunteering, individuals will have the opportunity to directly and profoundly impact the lives of at-risk children. Additionally, Our House has set up the Room to Grow Children’s Fund, which will finance the expansion costs of tripling in size to serve more children in the new Children’s Center. For more information about volunteering or donating, please call 501.374.7383 ext 201,or visit the website atOurHouseShelter.org.