Missouri Department of Economic Development assists St. James Caring Center, awards grant for renovation

The Missouri Department of Economic Development has awarded the St. James Caring Center a $344,110 Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) to renovate the facility and improve parking areas.  The renovations will allow for increased services to the community’s low income and elderly population.

Jefferson City, MO (STL.News) – CDBG Programs are designed to support the well-being of Missouri’s communities and increase their capacity for growth. Grants are available in several categories and can be utilized for a variety of community development initiatives.

“With this grant, the St. James Caring Center can make the facility improvements necessary to continue serving the community and helping those in need,” said Department of Economic Development Deputy Director Luke Holtschneider. “DED is proud to support projects like these that make a meaningful impact on our citizens.”

Through a senior center, thrift store and food pantry, the St. James Caring Center serves as a one-stop resource for community members in need.

“The St. James Caring Center is a non-profit one-stop resource center dedicated to meeting the temporary emergency needs of individuals,” said Caring Center Director Nancy Montgomery. “CDBG funds are earmarked for expansion of the Thrift Store which will allow inclusion of more furniture and appliances. Big ticket items generate a larger cash flow, which in turn, supports our programs.”

The scope of the project includes paving the new 18,000 square-foot parking area that will serve both the senior center and the food pantry.

Construction will also include a curb and gutter to direct storm waters from the parking lot and a new dumpster enclosure away from the buildings. Additionally, proposed changes to the facility will allow the thrift store additional space for receiving and sorting areas.

Missouri Engineering is providing professional engineering and architecture services for the project. Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) prepared the grant request and will administer the grant on behalf of Phelps County, who is sponsoring the grant on the Caring Center’s behalf. The Caring Center is providing $5,000 in match and in-kind work valued at $5,700 for a total project of $354,810.

“We are excited to see these improvements at the Caring Center,” said MRPC Executive Director Bonnie Prigge. “The Caring Center is a vital resource in the Phelps County area, and we are pleased that we can continue to assist them in securing this grant so they can better serve families and seniors.”

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. Gasconade County Presiding Commissioner Larry Miskel serves as chairman of the board.

A professional staff of 26, MRPC offers technical assistance and services such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion/.