SPRINGFIELD, Mo. A Springfield nonprofit that serves the homeless is in the middle of a big construction project.
The Kitchen Inc. has been in the Commercial Street area for many years, but a two story building going up near Glenstone and Chestnut will be their new headquarters.
The stairwells and steel frame are up on the future Sam and June Hamra Family Support Services building. "This campaign and this focus of our campus was brainstormed several years ago and started into fruition in 2017," says The Kitchen Inc. CEO, Meleah Spencer. "So eventually, we'll be all together here."
It will house The Kitchen's donation center, administration and case managers. The emergency shelter building opened a year ago on their new O'Reilly family campus near Glenstone and Chestnut.
"The great thing about this is we're on a main street," says Spencer.
People working on permanent housing stay in the shelter for three to six months. But in the new building, case managers will work with many more looking for housing.
"The space that we're in right now; it's difficult to accommodate all the clients that we see, and those numbers have been increasing," says Valarie Wolfe, Home at Last program coordinator.
Today, The Kitchen's Home at Last program staff were at the veteran stand-down, and so was army veteran Keith Tedder.
"I had a medical problem, and so we were essentially homeless," says Tedder.
The Kitchen's program just got them into an apartment a couple weeks ago. "It's really good," says Tedder.
He believes The Kitchen's new headquarters will help more people find out about all they offer, and it will be easier to find The Kitchen's offices.
It's one of the reasons The Kitchen chose the spot, which is even on the bus route.
"When you're relying on bus transportation, that is a big thing here in Springfield," Spencer says.
It's all to ensure those looking for a home can find the help they need.
Spencer says The Kitchen has nearly $2 million more to raise, but they hope to move into the new building by this summer.