Onslow Community Outreach kicks off capital campaign


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Onslow Community Outreach is beginning 2018 with a big step toward its efforts to make the Hargett Street facility its new home for the homeless shelter, soup kitchen and Christmas Cheer.

The organization is kicking off its Changing Lives Onslow campaign to raise about $500,000 by the end of the year to pay off the debt from the purchase of the building at 1210 Hargett St. in Jacksonville so that renovations for Phase 1 of the capital project can begin.

“It is the most significant and aggressive capitol project Onslow Community Outreach has ever had and it is going to be a big achievement,” said Executive Director Theo McClammy.The first phase of the project will be the move of the homeless shelter and OCO’s housing and shelter services to the building.

But before that can begin, the organization needs to retire the debt and take ownership of the building so that they can focus on renovations, said OCO Board of Directors Chairman Don Herring.

“It is a journey and paying off the building is a major part of that journey,” Herring said.

The goal is to launch housing and shelter services in the building by 2020, Herring said.

Onslow Community Outreach planned to announce the organization’s goal of paying off the purchase debt during Thursday night’s annual meeting and Herring said they plan to give an update on the project plans at the city council’s Feb. 20 meeting.

McClammy said they have limited space at their current home on Court Street and that restricts not only program services in terms of number of clients they can serve but also limits the number of volunteers who can work at the currently facility at the same time.

For instance, McClammy said, they only have space for about 15 volunteers per day to help with the soup kitchen. The new facility will have space for twice as many volunteers and a large dining area for clients so that there is not so much of a rush to get in and out.

About 5,000-square-feet of the 27,000 square foot facility will be dedicated to the shelter, which will also be able to serve more clients as it expands to 50 beds and will include four family rooms.

As the organization kicks of the capital campaign, community members can donate as always by coming by the current administrative offices on Court Street or by making a donation online at onslowco.org.

Beginning March 1, anyone can stop by a Wells Fargo bank branch in Onslow County to make a donation to the Onslow Community Outreach building fund. Those who donate $1,000 or more will have their names placed on a brick for the new facility.

Sponsorship and naming opportunities are also available by contacting the organization.

For more information, contact Onslow Community Outreach at 910-455-5733.