While Metrocrest Services’ new facility will be located in Carrollton, residents in Coppell are expected to benefit from it as well.
Last week Tracy Eubanks, CEO of Metrocrest Services, updated the Coppell City Council on progress of fundraising efforts for the new facility, which is expected to cost at least $12.7 million.
The facility, which is expected to be 46,000 to 48,000 square feet, will be located on 4.6 acres at the intersection of Josey Lane and Belt Line Road in Carrollton. Eubanks said Metrocrest Services is gearing up for a public capital campaign to fund the new facility.
Metrocrest Services provides rent and utility payment assistance, financial and budgeting services, food and other assistance to those in need in Coppell, Carrollton, Addison, Farmers Branch and parts of Dallas.
Eubanks said during the pandemic Metrocrest Services helped approximately 300 Coppell families with housing needs.
Coppell City Councilman Biju Mathew provided more data at the meeting. He said the organization provided $53,000 in rent for Coppell residents from October of 2020 to April of 2021. Mathew said 939 Coppell residents were served in 2020, a 46-percent increase from pre-pandemic levels. He said there were 840 visits to the food pantry by Coppell residents.
“When people ask us where we want to be we’ve always said Josey and Belt Line for a variety of reasons,” Eubanks said. “There’s a high density of poverty in that area. Also it’s a straight shot down Josey and Belt Line to all of our partners that we work with.”
Eubanks said the additional space will allow Metrocrest Services to better provide for the residents in the service area by creating more space for staff, case management, employment areas and continued education. He said there will be room for a 30-station computer lab.
“We do find that once a crisis is averted that a transformative job, a livable job can make a huge difference in a family’s life,” Eubanks said. “So we want to make sure we’re focused on those types of things.”
He said the food pantry will be expanded, and a teaching garden will be added. He said there will also be more volunteer space.
“We have to turn volunteers away currently if there’s a large group,” Eubanks said.
He said Metrocrest Services is also looking at a shared space concept for other services such as domestic violence help, legal advice, pediatric services and mental and physical health.
“So we’re looking to add some partners to our site so our clients will have easy access to those things that are commonly needed,” Eubanks said.
He said while Metrocrest Services is not opening a homeless shelter it will provide homeless resources.
Eubanks said Metrocrest Services’ goal is to improve the quality of comprehensive services increase staff support and reduce client wait times by 50 percent. Other goals include increasing the number of clients served by 214 percent by 2023 and nutrition meals by 727 percent by 2023 through a mobile food pantry. He said the organization plans to return to the preferred client choice food distribution, improve access to health services and expand programs and community partnerships.
He said the need has always been great but the pandemic has made it even greater. Eubanks said Metrocrest Services usually helps 12,000 to 15,000 a year but this year has helped 35,000 people. He said the nonprofit has distributed 4 million pounds of food this year, which is four times the normal amount He said Metrocrest Services has provided $4 million in rent, which is eight times a normal year.
Eubanks said the public phase of the capital campaign will begin in October. He said he will be discussing the capital campaign with other member cities and local organizations. There will be funding requests made to the cities as well as foundations, Rotary Clubs and local Lions Clubs.
He said $6.4 million has been raised so far, and the goal is to reach $8 million by the end of October.
He said construction for the facility is expected to begin in January of 2022 and should be complete by April of 2023.