Springfield church looking to create transitional shelter to help solve homelessness

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Springfield church is hoping to help find a solution to end the cycle of homelessness for many.

The Connecting Grounds church has put together a proposal titled “Roots of Community,” aimed at creating a transitional shelter program.

Pastor Christie Love said it helps get someone prepared for long-term housing, while giving them resources along the way.

The idea comes after church leaders have surveyed the homeless population.

“All of those kind of issues that we can deal with in a supportive transitional shelter model, so when they do eventually transition to long term housing, the odds of them being successful are so much greater,” Love said.

She said the proposed plan is broken up into three phases, with each plan adding more residential buildings and rooms.

Love explained the structure would consist of adding 72 apartments in the first phase, 36 in the second and 72 in the third.

“Gives us a daycare center,” Love said. “Our big dream would be that that daycare center is open 24 hours and doing that in partnership with some different organizations here in town. Phase 1 would also give us two residential buildings. One of which the entire bottom floor would serve as respite care.”

Residents, she said, could pay for a room either with money or by earning points.

“Classes, they can do community service hours not just with us, but with others,” Love said. “They can get involved. Being able to make appointments and keep those regularly would really all earn points as well.”

Former homeless woman, Kristi Johnson, said she believes this proposal would be a benefit to the community.

“There’s so many things that come with getting reacclimated to housing after you’ve been out here on the streets and just kind of fending for yourself to survive day in and day out, that it’s just kind of overwhelming, and I don’t think people would be able to navigate on their own,” Johnson said.

Love said their goal is to be building in 2023 and have their first residents move in by 2024.

To learn more about the proposal, click here. https://www.theconnectinggrounds.com/roots-of-community?fbclid=IwAR0kh-h47mtGctQGJwo4tTy8KnSuvnLJLyMIt01ku4bsDOInN6SEBmwN5M0

Love said she encourages the community to ask questions or show support for the project.

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