Mission Outreach gets grant from city

Workers from Jonesboro-based Bibiano Construction have been working to remove old ceiling and wall panels as part of the $279,000 renovation of Mission Outreach of Northeast Arkansas since Oct. 20. The work, funded by a grant from the city of Paragould, a Community Development Block Grant and the Mission’s own resources, is expected to finish by April.

For some time, Mission Outreach of Northeast Arkansas has been needing repairs and renovation to its facility at 901 E. Lake St. And now, thanks to the Paragould City Council, it has enough money to accomplish both the repairs and renovation.

At its Oct. 12 meeting, the council adopted a resolution to accept a Community Development Block Grant for $195,000 and to provide a matching grant of $34,552, both for the Mission. Along with $50,000 the Mission itself has contributed to the effort, the funds available come to $279,552.

“This grant will allow the Mission to install a sprinkler system,” said city Finance Committee Chairman Mark Rowland of Ward 1 position 1. Rowland added the grant will also enable the Mission to upgrade the interior of the facility, upgrade a new bathroom, add smoke alarms, upgrade the electrical system and remove the particle board.

A 58-bed emergency shelter for individuals and families in need, the Mission provides a soup kitchen and food pantry to serve those needs.

In that regard, the Mission provided temporary housing for 354 people, served 44,595 meals and provided 4,805 food boxes to needy families last year.

Repairs started Tuesday, Oct. 20. “Today we are tearing out the ceilings,” said Mission Executive Director Jana Burnett on Oct. 22. The men’s quarters have been gutted, she said, and the common areas in the women’s dorm have also had paneling removed. “And we have moved the men downstairs,” Burnett said.

Mission Development Director Jackie Ross said the $279,000 would pay for:

Panel and ceiling demolition, and installation of acoustic ceilings

Floor repair and leveling, and floor installation

Gypsum board wall finish and doors

Plumbing, and a sprinkler system for both the first and second floors

Rework of the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) ducts and grills

Rewiring of the building’s electrical systems

Burnett said the work, being done by Bibiano Painting of Jonesboro, is expected to be completed in April.

Since 1982, Mission Outreach of Northeast Arkansas has helped house the homeless, feed the hungry, and care for the sick of Paragould and surrounding areas.

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