- Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News
HUB homeless resource center reopens with new programs after 18 month closure
JONESBORO, Ark- The HUB Homeless Resource Center reopened today for the first time in over a year.
The HUB closed in March 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. They operated on a limited basis over the last year. But now, 18 months later, they have reopened their doors to help those in need.
“There was a new energy in our office. Ya know, we see people every Tuesday and Thursday and, we have been for a long time, but it seemed like a new energy. Very exciting,” says Kim Chase, the HUB’s executive director.
Chase took over as executive director during the pandemic and didn’t know what to expect as they reopened. She calls Tuesdays turn out a success.
“So, we did give away all of our lunches today which, is fabulous also. In conjunction with being fully opened, we took advantage of having another Covid vaccination day, and we did have some people do that.”
The homeless resource center located in downtown Jonesboro was formally operating by appointment only.
Guests can benefit from their new features: including lockers to store items in during the week and a shower program.
“We’ve been able to give our guests some showers that they wouldn’t necessarily have if it were not for this program. We do give out quite a few showers per week,” Chase said.
The HUB hopped to reopen this past summer but, as Covid-19 cases started to rise, that decision came to a halt.
As they open back up, the HUB is facing a new challenge: finding volunteers. In the past, most of them are retirees. Chase says they could make changes if it meant recruiting helpers.
“They’re in a higher risk category, and so they’re reluctant to come back to the office. So, one of the things that the HUB is committed to doing is kind of building our volunteer base,” Chase said. “Maybe we take new program modifications. We certainly have different needs than we did in early 2020.”
Chase says they don’t want to shut the HUB down again, so they’re taking all necessary steps to keep everyone safe. The HUB will continue to follow CDC Covid protocols as masks are required. Temperature checks and, Covid-19 questionnaire will be conducted as one enters the facility.