New center to provide help with housing and finances

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Starting on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, people struggling to make ends meet here in Springfield will have another option to go to, thanks to Community Partnership of the Ozarks.

Michelle Garand with the Community Partnership of the Ozarks says around 20 agencies are coming together to help with housing and finances.

Two years ago, a $1 million donation from the O’Reilly family helped CPO buy a building on Dale Street.

“A building that has incorporated a lot of the character from Pepperdine School that provided so much to the community for so long,” Garand said. “All the things that we’ve done is really try to breathe life back into this old building and really give it back to the community.”

The community has been hit by job losses, layoffs and furloughs, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The center plans to help people with rent, utilities, employment and handling finances.

“How do I manage funding now that I’m down to three-quarter time? How do I manage childcare and have access to information about parenting in a pandemic? These are just all the different things that people can access through here,” Garand said.

Garand admits the health crisis forced her team to rethink how it will provide services.

“We’ve tucked and rolled and come up fighting,” Garand said. “Our partner agencies have been so flexible.”

Partners include: Burrell Behavioral Health, Habitat for Humanity and the Springfield Police Department.

“The programs and the different pieces of training that can be incorporated is just exponential,” Garand said. “I don’t even know. It’s infinite what we can do here. “

On Tuesday, the possibilities will become a reality.

“Everyone said it’s impossible, and then those same people said it’s not impossible,” Garand said. “And here we are. It’s just probably one of the most rewarding feelings to be able to offer this space to agencies and to the community to be able to just address those critical needs.”

The Center also plans to help out with healthcare and education needs.

Garand says the center is looking for more volunteers. Click here if you would like to sign-up or learn more information.

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