LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – On Tuesday, Our House in Little Rock unveiled new updates on its $16 million expansion to help those who are newly homeless and near homeless.
Our House broke ground back in August of 2022, saying the expansion was much needed due to them having to turn people away due to lack of space.
Officials said in the past three weeks they’ve had to turn away almost 350 individuals searching for housing, including over 130 children.
Our House serves around 3,000 people per year and officials said this expansion is giving them the opportunity to serve double that.
Executive Director Ben Goodwin explained that they are currently constructing the family support center and family house.
“That will double our capacity for temporary homes for families,” Goodwin said.
Goodwin said the expansion will also help extend their aid in early childhood education, youth programs, mental health and career services.
David Harmonson, who is staying at the shelter, said through job training, they’ve helped him find a job at the childcare center.
“My goal is just to thrive for myself,” Harmonson said.
He says that’s one of the main things he has been working on as prior to the shelter he was near homeless.
“I was pretty dependent on my mom. I kind of bounced back and forth,” Harmonson said. “Then she passed away.”
After shortly living with his sister, he eventually went into an outpatient treatment center to help with alcoholism and while there he learned about Our House.
“I was in my car the night before I got here,” he said.
Dealing with near homelessness Harmonson was glad he stepped into a new journey.
“I have been hesitant even calling it a homeless shelter because to me it’s like a program,” Harmonson said. “It’s going to be so great for them to have more room and more privacy for their children.”
Working in the childcare center, Harmonson said he is looking forward to providing for himself.
“Eventually, I know the bed needs to be open for someone that was in my spot,” Harmonson said.