PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD) — A Pekin non-profit organization is expanding and opening its new center on Monday.
It’s been an eight month project to renovate a home on Elizabeth Street into the new center.
“It’s been a good project, there’s been a lot of people involved,” said Vice President Greg Ranney.
The Pekin Outreach Initiative Center will open on Monday.
“Our main goal was to provide services to the homeless and poor people in Pekin,” said president Lynne Johnson.
Johnson said it supports the Initiative’s three priorities: warm food, shelter, and transportation for people in need.
“We have two showers, two bathrooms so they can shower, we have laundry facilities so they can wash their clothes. These are really important services for the homeless,” said Johnson.
Poverty is a bigger issue in the area than people realize, she said.
“We have a lot of people living in tents down by the river. We have an awful lot of families living in their cars, living in garages and basements,” said Johnson.
Ranney said people now have a place to go and get out of the cold. There’s a stocked kitchen and eventually, resources and counselors will come to the center to help people.
“One of my things was that it was a one stop shop. That’s what we wanted it to be,” said Ranney.
He said it’s all free and is run by donations and grants.
“I had one gentleman stop by one day and said, ‘I heard about this I want to come down and talk to you.’ (He) just wrote out a check for $2,500,” said Ranney.
Ranney said the community believes in Pekin Outreach Initiative’s work and is supportive of its mission.
Pekin Outreach Initiative opens Monday at 515 Elizabeth Street in Pekin. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.