LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-“It’s a sad scary place to be by yourself and a woman especially a woman with kids, the Compassion Center doing this is going to be such a blessing,” Melissa Caulder said.
For over 20 years, a local pastor has made it his goal to make sure homeless people have a place to go.
Now Executive Director Pastor William Holloway is expanding his passion to continue helping others.
The Little Rock Compassion Center on Roosevelt Road can house hundreds of men giving them a hot meal, a bed, and resources to get back on track.
It also has a facility down the street on Asher Avenue for women and children.
Pastor Holloway says there are so many women and children who don’t have a place to go.
The women’s facility on Asher is 3300 square feet and it only provides so much for families.
Pastor Holloway secured another building down the road that’s four times bigger but it needs some work and love before it can be called home.
“We’re the only emergency shelter in the City of Little Rock that takes the homeless people like we do,” Pastor Holloway said.
Just down the road on Asher Avenue is a shelter only for women and children.
“We usually try to keep it around 30 or 35 women,” Pastor Holloway said.
In October, Pastor Holloway purchased a 14,500 square feet facility on Asher Avenue. It used to be the old state Forestry building.
“Well the building is in very good condition,” Pastor Holloway said.
Now, it’s in the early stages of remodeling, getting building permits and approval from the city.
“A building that size you probably looking at a minimum of $750,000 dollars,” Pastor Holloway said.
A work in progress that will soon be a new home for women and children.
“I want the girls to know that I came through these doors just like they did and if I can do it they can do it,” Melissa Caulder said.
Melissa Caulder knows first hand just how important it is.
“It’s tough the drugs and alcohol will cause you to do things you will never do. Prostitution, stealing you do it all just to survive,” Caulder said.
Getting families off the streets and providing them with the help they need.
“It would help cut down on the amount of theft that we have, amount of shoplifting and stuff like that and in some cases it even helps people get past suicide,” Pastor Holloway said.
Getting a second chance at life.
“The Compassion Center doing this is going to be such a blessing,” Caulder said.
There are several other things that need to be done before opening the facility.
Pastor Holloway adds there are women and children shelters in Cleveland, Iowa, Minnesota, Memphis and Texas that are very successful.