Homeless Shelter in Searcy welcomes first family since start of pandemic

Local News

SEARCY, Ark.—A homeless shelter in White County is welcoming their first family back after being closed for 8 months.

As COVID-19 numbers rose back in March, Jacob’s Place was forced to close its doors to families seeking shelter.

According to the shelter’s director, it is one of the only shelters in the state that will take an entire family and keep them together as they work to get back on their feet.

 “It is comfortable here,” said Karrie Gaines.

Gaines and her family are the first family to find shelter at Jacob’s Place since they reopened this month.

She says they lost a lot, including their home during the pandemic.

“It was a struggle. I kind of lost my place and I lost my job before that,” recalled Gaines.

Prior to the beginning of the pandemic, the shelter would house three families at once, however to keep everyone safe, they are only taking one.

“It’s a one of a kind shelter in all of Arkansas,” said Kevin Boyce, Director of Jacob’s Place. “Even though this is a big house, it is not big enough for us to socially distance three families.”

Boyce says once the spread slows, they hope to help as many families as possible.

As for Gaines, she is thankful there is finally help for her family in White County.

“I want to have a job and my stuff in a row– my kids being back in school and me leaving Jacob’s Place into a home instead of another shelter,” said Gaines.

Boyce says they are in desperate need of donations to buy more cleaning supplies as they work to keep everyone in the shelter safe from COVID-19.

If you would like to donate, you can reach them at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jacobsplacehomelessmission

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