After more than two decades of serving the poor in an outdated, cramped building on West Marietta Street, officials with MUST Ministries said today that it is time to move.
And they think that they've found the perfect place to serve the 11,000 Cherokee County residents who come to the agency annually for clothes, food, and employment and housing assistance.
All they need, MUST spokeswoman Kaye Cagle said, is your financial support to move by year's end.
MUST bought the building, a new, 9,000-square-foot facility at 111 Brown Industrial Pkwy., in February. For years, the building has been vacant, Cagle said.
The ministry needs $592,000 to build out the facility, which cost $976,000 to acquire. Add $132,000 for operating and related expenses, another $300,000 to cover first year programming costs, and the total swells to $2 million.
While key stakeholders have already committed the funds, Cagle said "every charity tries to raise more than they need because not all pledges come in. We certainly don't want to deter anyone from giving because we will still need it."
Don Hausfeld is the co-chair of a capital campaign that MUST officials announced this morning at First United Methodist Church of Canton.
"The demand is outpacing the facility," said Hausfeld, who also sits on MUST's board.
In the past year, the Cherokee arm of the ministry has received 14,983 requests for food, 16,330 requests for clothing, 275 requests for job assistance and provided 12,700 nights of housing for people with disabilities. Forty-two percent of the 11,000 Cherokee residents who pass through MUST annually are younger than 18.
"A new facility," Hausfeld said, "will provide both an immediate solution and an important opportunity to grow."
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