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As of January 2023, 60% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. This means that for the majority of us, it could take only one month for everything we know to be turned upside. One major accident. One major illness. One major loss of a job.
For many, this fact (and its accompanying anxiety) is worsened by one thing: the children. Facing homelessness as an individual is hard enough as it is, but to include your children in the mix is heart-wrenching. Thankfully for those in Arkansas, there is a safety net: Jacob’s Place Homeless Mission.
Jacob’s Place, located in Searcy, is not a homeless shelter, but an entire program created to elevate the status of an entire family. The house is a benefit of engaging in the Jacob’s Place program. “We are a rarity when it comes to homeless services,” Executive Director of Jacob’s Place, Kevin Boyce, states. “Our goal is to keep the family unit together. We will accept married couples and allow the husband and wife to live together with their children. We believe that it is a critical detail for long-term success.” Jacob’s Place also accepts pregnant women, single mothers, and single fathers.
Once accepted into the program, each family is given the room they need to truly thrive while working their way out of homelessness. They are provided their own private living quarters, a private fridge, a cabinet area, food, toiletries and other items they need to finally start moving forward in life.
While at Jacob’s Place, a family must fully embrace the Jacob’s Place program, which entails:
“We believe dignity, respect and high expectations will give our families the boost they deserve,” states Boyce. Though the expectations are high for the residents, the program is wonderfully beneficial and flexible to its residents. They get to navigate this difficult season in life with others cheering them on, holding them accountable and helping them figure out what way to move forward.
“Our goal is to protect children from the horrors of homelessness while their parents can work on forging a better future,” states Boyce. “We want our facility to feel like a home and not a homeless shelter.” The shelter has a common living area, toys, games, and everything else a family with children would need in order to find not only shelter and respite, but also true peace and hope in an otherwise dire time.
Jacob’s Place is equipped to serve five families at a time. This mission not only changes the lives of the parents, but can help to change the trajectory of the children’s lives as well. While at Jacob’s Place, families are connected to multiple other programs, resources, and opportunities to ensure their success moving forward. Some of these resources include mental health services, child care services, GED readiness programs, job readiness programs, and legal aid services.
Jacob’s Place is a unique mission—it is rare for a shelter to be able to take on an entire family unit. It is a program that is completely reliant on donations and volunteers. If this mission is something you would like to learn more about, invest in, or volunteer with, please email Kevin Boyce at email@example.com or visit their website at https://jacobsplace.org/.
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