It wasn't a groundbreaking in the traditional sense but that didn't make it any less meaningful for Center for Hope.
The long time nonprofit is preparing to “don their hardhats” as work begins at their future location, 1318 Clear Lake Rd.
Supporters of the organization came by the facility from 10 am to 2 pm on March 26 to write words of encouragement and scripture on the walls, during a “Bless our Future Home” ceremony.
Known to locals as the old Kennedy Meat Processing Plant, work is expected to begin in the next couple of weeks to transform the former business into something new.
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“I like this even better,” said Paula Robinson, CEO for Center of Hope. “Blessing the old original walls - they’re going to remain and go on - this is the Hope for this building; that it’s a forever home for Center of Hope.”
Robinson said they have contracted with JRJ Construction to install a new roof and rework the exterior of the building. When finished it will be 23,000 square feet and house what is now in five different buildings.
“We have funds available for the construction of the roof, siding, windows, doors...it’ll look like a brand new facility on the outside,” Robinson said. “The inside, not so much. Instead of sitting back and waiting until we have all of this money in the bank, we’re taking what we have and investing it. We’re all in.”
She said they are taking what they have and saying, “God we trust that you’re going to help us finish this,” Robinson said.
There was a steady turnout during the day when a woman approached Robinson near the end of the gathering.
“She told me she used to be a volunteer when Center of Hope was once referred to as The Provision Center,” Robinson said. “The woman suddenly found herself in need of help when she became what she referred to as a ‘displaced homemaker’ following a divorce.”
Robinson said she had no schooling or experience short of a Certified Nurses Aid certification.
“She got help, took some computer classes and later attended Weatherford College,” Robinson said. “Later she finished her degree in Houston and is now an Occupational Therapist living in Fort Worth.”
Robinson said the woman heard of the Blessing Ceremony and wanted to attend.
“It was every encouraging meeting her and seeing several of the original board members,” Robinson said. Roger McCasland, a real visionary for Center of Hope was there, it was very touching. When he shared his vision in 2003, for me...it was unbelievable. But now, in 2017, I can see it even more.”
The cost of phase one of the construction about to begin is close to $1 million. To finish out the project Center of Hope needs an additional $2.8 million.
“It’s not a scary number to me, “Robinson said. “The Lord knows where every penny will come from – we just have to trust His timing.”
Lance Winter: 817-390-7274, Ext. 102,