Ben Ward, Ozarks News Brief

SPRINGFIELD – A quick drive around Springfield will show you that the city has a large homeless population. But with plans for a new shelter, The Kitchen hopes to help that number decrease.

“We’re looking to effect the amount of homeless people in the community, to reduce that by great numbers,” said Rorie Orgeron, CEO of The Kitchen.

The Kitchen is currently in the middle of a $4 million capitol campaign which has allowed them to purchase property at the intersection of Chestnut and Glenstone. This new property will help them follow through on that mission.

“One of the pieces of property will have a fifty bed shelter on it. So once that building is built, we will take the people from here and move them to there, explains Orgeron.

Orgeron says there are several reasons to build new rather than renovate buildings, like the Missouri Hotel, which closed in 2015. One reason is the condition.

“There’s several issues with the Missouri Hotel, and although it is built like a bomb shelter, I mean it’s a very strong building; the interior, the guts, need to be replaced,” said Orgeron.

The other reason has to do with cost of renovations.

“The numbers that came back … was anywhere from $6.5 million to $9 million, just for that one building,” said Orgeron.

Now that the decision to build has been made and the property purchased, the next step is to start construction.

The Kitchen has set a tentative opening date for 2018. But, if the campaign continues to go well, they hope to open sooner.

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