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Markwardt said. “They’re able to actually do hands-on training at our new facility and they’re learning how to build walls, they learn some electrical and plumbing, and they do get OSHA certified during this entire project.”
The increased job training provided by the center will help stabilize and improve people’s lives.
“There is a need to help people with crisis, but it’s all about providing people with a hand up and not just a handout,” she said. “So we’re able to look at how education and career development can further develop people to not only get out of the crisis they are in, but break the cycle of poverty for them.”
Seeing how the community supports the center’s efforts to grow is indicative of the community’s commitment to public good, Markwardt said.
“For me, because I’m out in the com- munity, seeing how the community comes together to help each other, that’s what
I like the most,” she said. “We are just so excited to see such progress on the build- ing so far and we just ended our third phase of the building, which was to put a new roof on and also fix the entire exterior so it’s good to see that work is going on.
“The final phase is just starting: (the) rebuild of the inside where all of our classrooms are going to be, our kitchen, dining room, life coach rooms, a kids area, all of that still needs to be done on the inside.”
Center of Hope ihas been spread out across multiple locations in Weatherford, offering services such as food pantries, rent assistance, job training, prescription assistance,
and community service programs for juveniles.
CEO Paula Robinson considers the project to be the culmination of a long-overdue move in a job she con- siders a calling.
As the center’s mission has grown in scope and responsibilities, the need for consolidation was apparent.
“To be under one roof, right now we’re under five and pay a lot of rent, commu- nication is hard, you have a lot of waste and resources,” Robinson said. “You can’t utilize your volunteers very well when
you have to drive from one location to the next, it’s just not very efficient and we’re limited on what we can do because of space.”
Having a building that is a reflection of the staff’s excellent service and dedication
Customers shop at the Center of Hope food pantry, a service meant to help Parker County residents with nutri- tional stability.
is a critical component to the Center of Hope’s mission.
“The attitude of the volunteers, the staff that’s helping, that won’t change, but (having) the building and the way it’s
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