Old Fort Homeless Coalition Receives $500,000 Grant To Build Shelter

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) – The Old Fort Homeless Coalition received a $500,000 grant to be used toward building the Riverview Hope Campus in Fort Smith.

The grant is from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, based in Tulsa, Okla.

“We are hoping that our homeless are not going to need to stay outdoors one more winter,” Director of Riverview Hope Campus Debbie Everly said.

Everly said the grant will help the group get one step closer to that goal.

“That money will definitely go toward construction. That’s what it’s for,” she said.

The campus will include a Mercy medical clinic, mental health and dental services, and have 75 shelter beds. The coalition is accepting donations, but Everly said they don’t need any more clothes.

“We are trying to open this up as a transformational campus where our homeless will transition out of homelessness,” she said. “We are looking for things that will get them ready to prepare them for sustainability.”

Everly said it’s possible construction could start in March or April. The Riverview Hope Campus still needs an additional $500,000 to complete the project, which should be ready by the end of 2016.