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serving the missouri meramec area.

St. James Caring Center receives CDBG funding for renovation

For immediate release

For more information, contact
Kelly Sink-Blair

ST. JAMES—The St. James Caring Center has been awarded a $344,110 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) through the Missouri Department of Economic Development to renovate the caring center and improve parking areas, located at 113 West Eldon Street in St. James. The renovations will allow for increased services to the community’s low income and elderly population.

A kick-off meeting was held April 25 with Ryan Reed of the Missouri Department of Economic Development CDBG program to review the project documents and processes. 

CDBG Programs are designed to support the wellbeing 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 will include paving the new 18,000 square feet parking area that serves both the senior center and food pantry including parking blocks, striping signage and an additional sidewalk. Construction will also include the curb and gutter necessary to direct storm waters from the parking lot and include a new dumpster enclosure away from the buildings. Additionally, proposed changes to the caring center will allow for additional space for the Thrift Store for receiving and sorting areas. Renovations include replacing flooring, removing walls, increasing retail space, adding new overhangs and façade to the exterior and adding new south side entrance for larger donations.

“Without the CDBG funding, our facility would remain at a halt in regard to growth. Our goal is perpetual: The success of the Caring Center is accomplished by a group of people working together to better the lives of everyone that call the community home.” 

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 Bonnie Prigge, executive director of MRPC. “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.”

The CDBG program is a flexible program that provides communities with the necessary resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs. Beginning in 1974, the CDBG program is one of the longest continuously run programs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Missouri Department of Economic Development handles Missouri’s allocation of CDBG funds and offers them in a competitive basis to cities, counties and other qualifying entities outside entitlement areas, that receive direct CDBG funds.

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 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.orgor on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion/.

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Cutline: Participating in the grant kick-off meeting was Phelps County Associate Commissioner Larry Stratman (left), Kelly Sink-Blair with MRPC, Joe Heberlie with Missouri Engineering, St. James Caring Center Executive Director Nancy Montgomery, Ryan Reed with CDBG, Phelps County Presiding Commissioner Randy Verkamp, MRPC Executive Director Bonnie Prigge, Jackie Rogers of J.Rogers Architecture/Missouri Engineering and Gary O’Day with MRPC.