"The new building will let us do the same services, but more of them. We've been pretty crowded in our current place, and we can't expand much there," explained Jerry Coyler, director of the organization.
He separated the kinds of services that the center provides into direct support, such as food, clothing, and financial help, and life skills training, which includes topics such as nutrition, budgeting, and computer skills.
"We don't really have the space to do life skills training in our current building," he noted. "And we barely have enough room to provide our other services."
Even with the tight squeeze, the organization has been able to help between 650 and 700 families every month. That's not an easy thing to do from a 2500 square foot building, especially when one considers how much space food and clothing take up.
"In the new building, we'll have a big conference room to do life skills training in, and we'll have people from the county come in to do the training, as we've done before," he elaborated.
"Also, we will have a bigger warehouse, which will let us increase our throughput of resources. We'll be able to process more food so we can feed more families," he added. "We can increase the size of both our pantry and our clothing department."
Construction on the building will take approximately four to six months. Oyler figures that the organization will be able to move into the new quarters by early to mid-summer.
Oyler extended his thanks to the community for their help with the building fund. "We're very grateful for the community's generosity. We raised $500,000 for the new building," he revealed. He hopes to have a formal groundbreaking when the time comes.
Founded in 1972, FAITH Neighborhood Center's mission is to provide support to needy families and individuals across South Lake County, Florida. More than half of their clients are children under the age of 17. For more information, visit their website at faithneighborhoodcenter.com.