Hope Center opens new Main Street location

Steve Chapman

 The parking lot of the Hope Center’s new location on Main Street is nearly full in the early going of the grand re-opening. Business has remained steady during the store’s first week of operation in downtown Mt. Vernon. (Photo by Steve Chapman)

The Hope Center opened their new location in the old G & W at 317 Main Street in Mt. Vernon on Tuesday, July 9.
Tina Mulleady, director of the Hope Center, said several people came to see the new location.
“Tuesday was insane,” she said. “Tuesday, we had a killer day. We had cars lined up both ways all the way up both sides of the street, the parking lots were full. Hopefully this keeps up; hopefully we’ll keep getting this.”
Mulleady was not able to estimate how many people came to the Hope Center that day, but said almost 600 sales were made.
With 14,500 square feet, the new location has more than triple the space of the old location, which was about 4,500 square feet in size. This means the Hope Center can accept and sell more items, increasing the funds they use in their benevolence work.
“We’re so much bigger,” Mulleady said. “We can take more donations, furniture, that sort of thing. I’m hoping our being down here will bring more business to the downtown area.”
The Hope Center has decided to purchase their new location and are currently paying on a mortgage. However, David Gregersen, a member of the Hope Center Board, said the payments they are making are currently less than half of what they paid in rent, meaning they have more money to put towards their benevolence work, which includes a clothing program, vouchers to provide food, gas and motel stays for stranded travelers and the homeless, and assistance for rent, medical bills and utilities.  “We’ll be able to help more people,” Gregersen said. “Our mortgage payment is less than what we paid for rent for many, many years. So, that savings will translate into being able to help more people. That’s the whole goal, to help more people. We’re not looking to make a profit.”
Currently, the Hope Center only extends assistance to people living within the Mt. Vernon School District, but Mulleady hopes one day they will be able to help those living in nearby communities like Pierce City and Miller.
“To me, they’re areas that need help too, and there’s just not much there to help them,” she said.
The Hope Center began working to get the G & W Building ready for their transition back in February, and Mulleady said several community members helped out, including the Rotary Club, the members of several local churches, board members and high school students.
“We’ve had a great community that’s come in and stepped up and helped us with setting this up, cleaning this up, clearing it out of the stuff that was in here,” she said. “The community’s been wonderful.”
The Hope Center will hold their grand opening on Friday, Aug. 9; the event will feature free food, balloons, and a ribbon cutting. The public is invited to attend.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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