Care Center cut the ribbon on their new 6,000 sq. ft. expanded resource center to serve the community
By Chuck Gibson
LOVELAND, OH (November 24, 2020) – On a pleasant Thursday afternoon two weeks before Thanksgiving, there were a lot of people giving thanks during the open house and ribbon cutting ceremony for Care Center in Loveland, Ohio.
The expanded space offering resources to help people thrive comes from the vision of Executive Director Greg Knake. On Thursday, November 12, 2020, he was most thankful to the many partners who helped make the Care Center vision a reality. He named MomsHope, Cincinnati Works, Great Oaks, and many more organizations who help provide services and programs to support and encourage people in need of a boost out of poverty. Knake also named Sharon Chapman, who has volunteered for more than 15 years as a driving force helping others to thrive.
Cee Cee Collins, President, Little Miami River Chamber Alliance, handed off the giant scissors giving Chapman the honor of cutting the ribbon.
“That was awesome,” said Chapman. “I’ve been a part of this for over 15 years volunteering. It’s wonderful to see what it has developed and turned into.”
Chapman says it “means everything” to her to cut the ribbon. She recalled when she was living at McArthur Park Apartments and Northstar Church began their mission visiting there to reach out to help people in need. They helped give her encouragement to thrive. She just bought her first home within the last year. She’s always been there to help others along the way.
“I never imagined this,” Chapman said. “I wanted to give back. It’s wonderful to see Greg’s vision turn into this. It’s going to help so many people. I’m excited for them. I’m hoping people can get out of poverty; have courage to take that step.”
Also on hand for the open house and ribbon cutting was Loveland Mayor Kathy Bailey who offered a brief message of congratulations and especially thanks to Care Center as an important resource for the Loveland community.
“I want to thank all the volunteers and everybody who helps make this possible,” said Bailey. “If you need anything, you know where to find us. Thank you.”
After the pomp and circumstance, the crowd of onlookers and supporters made their way into the new facility for a first look. Knake was happy to finally have people in the new space.
“I was definitely encouraged,” said Knake. “I was just excited to have people in the space, to have them here.”
The Care Center staff is completely made up of volunteers. Knake says it was great to get people excited about the Care Center. It was great to hear people found the space comfortable, warm and inviting. He admits they need to raise more awareness of what resources they offer. It is more than a distribution center for personal care items, cleaning supplies and paper goods.
“We need to raise awareness of the resources we have,” Knake said. “We’re here helping people to thrive in life. I heard people say they didn’t know we have a computer lab, work-ready clothing, haircuts helping people get back to work.”
The message he wants to send is: if Care Center provides relief, it can lead people to a real life change.
“We want to be a place where people come when they want to thrive in life,” he said. “There are three big bucket things to get there. Helping get people back to work. Basic life skills like parenting, self-care, financial stability. Help get unstuck with mentoring and life skills.”
Knake’s vision for Care Center is based on the hope people will really come and engage in all the resources they have available. They offer programs to help people get back to work. They have partners like Cincinnati Works using best practices to mentor and coach people through the process.
“We really rely on Cincinnati Works and their expertise to help people get back to work,” said Knake. “It’s still more than that; the need for work-ready clothing and a fresh haircut. We want people to feel at their best.”
He cites the biggest challenge for our local community in need is just getting to the resources; having the transportation. That is part of the driving force in creating the 6,000 square foot expanded space at a cost of $2 million dollars. That includes expanded parking as well. The point is they raised the money to raise the bar to create a space people can get to and have access to resources they need to thrive in life. Anyone can stumble and suddenly find themselves in need of resources they would have no knowledge of where to access.
“There is no geographic restriction,” Knake said. “You just have to be able to get here. We want to be a resource to anyone who is trying to thrive in life. We want to see people be self-sufficient.”
It all started about 18 years ago when members of Northstar Church went out to the people and engaged in helping those in need. They went to places around Loveland every Saturday morning to meet and help people who were poverty-stricken. The numbers have only grown larger since 2005. Knake says by 100% as they see poverty moving to the suburbs. Care Center still goes out every Saturday morning 11 a.m. to 12-noon. Last Saturday, November 20, they partnered with LIFE Food Pantry to “bless people” with a Thanksgiving turkey during the Turkey-fest. They have a laundry day each quarter where they give out the quarters for the people to do their laundry at the public laundry.
“That’s how it all started,” said Knake. “That’s what we do today; meeting people where they are.”
. . .and inviting them to the Care Center to find the resources and relationship mentors to thrive in life.
Click here to learn more about Care Center.
Care Center is located at 11020 S. Lebanon Road, Loveland, OH 45140
Reach out by email: firstname.lastname@example.org for help, or to volunteer.
DURING THIS WEEK OF THANKSGIVING, WE GIVE THANKS TO CARE CENTER FOR ALL YOU DO TO HELP OTHERS THROUGHOUT OUR COMMUNITY & BEYOND