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New Campus for Kitchen Inc. to Better Serve Homeless Population

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Submitted Photo
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The Kitchen Inc.
A rendering of The Kitchen Inc's proposed new support services building.

A vacant lot in northeast Springfield will soon be home to the Kitchen Inc’s new emergency shelter and office building.

The nonprofit social service agency this week announced it had acquired the land for the new facilities at the corner of Glenstone and Chestnut Expressway. It paves the way for the development of new campus, which has a budget of $4 million.

Kitchen CEO Rorie Orgeron says purchasing the property cost less than remodeling its current facilities.

“All the buildings that we own right now, none of them have insulation in them so our utility bills are pretty high every year,” CEO Rorie Orgeron said.  “We have spent over $1million over the last six years just on utilities and maintenance on our old building so we’ll save a lot of money getting into these new buildings.”

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Credit Submitted Photo / The Kitchen Inc
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The Kitchen Inc
A rendering of the proposed emergency shelter

One of the new buildings to be constructed will house a 50 bed emergency shelter. The other will be an administrative and support service building. It will consist of office space for 26 case managers, and executive, human resources, accounting and development staff.

Acquisition of the two properties was made possible through a gift from Sam and June Hamra. The sites join together in the rear and have frontage on both Glenstone and Chestnut Expressway.

Officials want to make clear that even with the move the Kitchen still needs community support in order to serve its customers. Orgeron notes that organization saw a huge dip in contributions when the Missouri Hotel closed earlier this year.  

“Hopefully we’ll continue to see the donations that we traditionally had and be able to maybe even offer more programs or enhance our programs that we currently run, Orgeron said.

In a news release, The Kitchen says it has provided more than 400 permanent housing units for over 600 individuals and families in our community in the past two years. The goal is to be able to find permanent housing for people living at the emergency shelter within 90 days. Just last year, The Kitchen, Inc.’s emergency shelter assisted 229 people including 92 children.

After closing the capital campaign, the Kitchen plans to break ground on the new property. The organization says it’s at 55 percent of its goal.