By Susan Redden
CARTHAGE, Mo. — Rooms are taking shape in a project that will allow the Carthage Crisis Center to move into larger quarters.
More than 200 people have helped so far, and volunteers are being sought for work days on Friday and Saturday.
“We’re anxious to get farther along. We’re having to turn people away because of lack of space,” said Brian Bisbee, executive director of the homeless shelter.
Hired workers and volunteers are renovating the former Leggett & Platt Inc. national research building as a new headquarters for the center. The donated building will allow the operation to move from a 3,100-square-foot former filling station to a 42,000-square-foot building at 100 S. Main St.
Supporters hope the new building can be complete by Easter, and it can’t come too soon, Bisbee said.
He said the center has had to turn away people who need help because the 16-bed shelter at 420 Lyon St. is full.
The new center will have room to house 15 men and eight women. There also will be space to accommodate five families, and seven men and four women who are in transition to independence, plus room for staff members.
“In all, we’ll have room for about 55 people,” Bisbee said.
Volunteers have been working Mondays through Fridays and some weekends to frame out rooms, install insulation and drywall, tear out other walls, and do cleanup.
“We’ve had lots of church groups, youth groups, businesses and individuals helping,” Bisbee said Tuesday. “We’ve even got a group of kids coming in today who’ll be helping.”
Residents from the center also are working there, including Frank Gaultney, formerly of Poplar Bluff, who is staying at the Crisis Center under a new initiative to serve homeless veterans.
While most of the center’s services go to Carthage area residents, Bisbee said his board has developed a policy to offer services to homeless military veterans from throughout the area. The center is working with coordinators for the homeless at Veterans Affairs hospitals in Kansas City and Fayetteville, Ark.
“My board recognized there are more than 200,000 veterans who served our country who are now homeless, and in October, they developed a new policy making them a priority,” he said.
Gaultney, 51, said he is a Vietnam veteran who became homeless because of problems with alcohol and drugs. He said the VA placed him at the center after he completed drug rehabilitation. While working on drywall, he said he enjoys working at the new center building and had worked earlier as a school custodian.
Other work on the building, including new windows, plumbing, electrical work and other major projects, is being done by G&G; Construction Co. of Carthage.
Volunteers who want to help Friday or Saturday may show up at the site any time between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Bisbee said it would be helpful if people would call the center in advance at 358-3533 for planning purposes, because lunch will be served to workers both days.
He said the center has enjoyed help from volunteers since the project started, plus donations of food and financial support. In addition to providing food and shelter for the homeless, the center has collected and given away nearly 700 units of furniture and appliances, and 154 emergency food baskets to area residents. It also has shared bread, meat, eggs and other food with other groups that feed the hungry.
“We’ll help as long as the Lord provides, and we see support from the community every day,” Bisbee said.
The Crisis Center will serve a free Thanksgiving dinner for Carthage area residents from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday at First United Methodist Church, Seventh and Main streets.
By Susan Redden
- Carthage, Jasper County
Carthage attorney, reformer of revenue department, dies
James R. Spradling, a Carthage attorney who was noted for his reform of the Missouri Department of Revenue in the 1970s, died at 5:50 a.m. Monday at McCune-Brooks Regional Hospital.
Suspect held on gun and immigration charges
A 25-year-old man is being held on weapon charges after allegedly threatening another Carthage resident with a handgun.
Suspect in custody in robbery of restaurant customer
A 20-year-old suspect is in custody at the Jasper County Jail in connection with the robbery of a customer Friday morning at the Sonic Drive-In restaurant in Carthage.
Jasper schools locked down after liquor store robbery
Schools in the Jasper R-5 School District were locked down Tuesday at the request of the Jasper County Sheriff's Department in response to a robbery in Jasper.
Jo Ellis: Cool off with free summer concert in Carthage
The Carthage Council on the Arts is offering a concert in Central Park by the Route 66 Swing Band on Saturday, July 20. Made up of area musicians, the band will start playing at 7 p.m.
Arrests at Carthage motel linked to car dealership burglaries
Authorities believe they have solved a series of break-ins at car dealerships in Southwest Missouri and other burglaries with the arrest of a man and woman at a Carthage motel.
Special session set for contract work moving sheriff's office
The Jasper County Commission will meet in special session Wednesday to award a contract for financing work in order to remodel part of a county-owned building as the new headquarters for the Jasper County Sheriff's office.
Steadley trust planning session attracts 40-plus Carthage leaders
Carthage officials and representatives of organizations in the community gathered Friday to start a process aimed at identifying future needs that can be addressed by funding from the Steadley Memorial Trust. Discussions were led by Ralph Ochsner, a Kansas City-based consultant hired by Steadley directors to oversee the effort.
Bondswoman charged with false imprisonment
A bail bondswoman from Carthage is facing a charge of false imprisonment for allegedly attempting to put a man in jail without a judge’s order, then taking him home and handcuffing him to the banister of a staircase until a friend of the man paid her his bond money.
Man’s last statement to be given to defendant
A judge ruled Monday that the Jasper County prosecutor must provide attorneys for Darren J. Winans with a videotaped statement co-defendant Matthew D. Laurin made about the Sheldon murders shortly before killing himself.
- More Carthage, Jasper County Headlines
- Carthage attorney, reformer of revenue department, dies