CASA GRANDE — The new CG Helps Resource Center will have its official opening on Monday, April 29, and with a $20,000 donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the new facility will have the funds to purchase furniture and other supplies.
The church made the donation as part of its ongoing efforts to help the community, said Chad Rowley, stake president for the Casa Grande area for the church, including Casa Grande, Coolidge, Eloy and Arizona City.
“We believe it’s our responsibility as Christians to help those who are less fortunate than us and this is one of the things we can do to help,” he said. “We think the resource center is a great cause.”
Church members will also likely volunteer in various ways to support the resource center once it’s open.
The resource center, which will be located in the city’s Peart Center on Florence Boulevard, is aimed at helping the area’s homeless and less fortunate with support and services.
It will be run by the Community Action Human Resources Agency, a nonprofit organization that assists low-income and homeless people with a variety of services.
The resource center was the idea of Casa Grande Mayor Craig McFarland’s Task Force on Homelessness, which brings together churches, agencies and concerned community members to address ways to assist the homeless community.
While the resource center isn’t a homeless shelter, it’s the first step in addressing the needs of the homeless in the community, said Scott McEuen, a former Casa Grande LDS stake president and longtime member of the task force.
“The second step is to bring the churches together to find emergency shelter for people to sleep. If there’s no place for the homeless to sleep, it’s not a total package,” McEuen said.
The sheltering program envisioned by the task force is modeled after those in Tempe and Gilbert, in which churches rotate offering temporary shelter for the homeless, McEuen said.
“Ideally, we’d also like to have a portable shower that will travel from church to church,” he said. “As a part of the big picture, we’d like the churches to come together to take care of the less fortunate in the community.”
McEuen and Rowley worked together to acquire grant funding for the resource center from the LDS worldwide humanitarian fund, based in Salt Lake City.
“We put together a request for the funds and the church granted it,” McEuen said. “There are a lot of churches coming together in different ways to help this cause and this was one way we could help. It’s a worthy project, and we’re not doing more than anybody else.”
The donation was presented to the resource center during a Casa Grande City Council meeting on April 1.
Mary Lou Rosales, executive director of CAHRA, was on-hand to receive the check on behalf of the resource center.
“The donation will go a long way in our efforts,” she said.
She said the donation will help to buy furniture and other necessities for the building, which currently has no furniture.
Establishing the resource center was the culmination of months of meetings and planning and is reaching one of the goals of the Casa Grande Mayor’s Task Force on Homelessness, which started meeting and strategizing in late 2017. United Way of Pinal County also is located in the building.
The resource center will officially open its doors on April 29 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Rosales said.