Future Community Resource Building plans address local needs

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The new three-level Community Resource Center's lower level will house a space for meetings, trainings, and family gatherings with FRC and the food pantry on main floor, and the second floor will serve as storage space with an option for future expansion based on community needs. (Photo submitted)

By Caroline Rosacker

The following is the second installment of a six-part series devoted to the Community Resource Center Campaign.

The Guttenberg Economic and Industrial Development Committee (GEIDC) in cooperation with the Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics' Family Resource Center has received a $2.7 million dollar grant from Governor Kim Reynolds' Nonprofit Innovation Fund. 

"One of the main reasons this project received funding is because Guttenberg's Family Resource Center does such an excellent job combining and utilizing resources, which are supported by GMHC and local health care providers," pointed out GEIDC Board Member Jackie Lee. "This all-encompassing model is unique and many other communities are trying to duplicate it." 

Building specs

The new construction will have three levels: a basement utilized as a community space for meetings, trainings, and family gatherings; ground floor space for the Family Resource Center (FRC) and Food Pantry; and a second floor that will serve as storage space with the option for future expansion to meet identified community needs. 

Inadequate space

More than eight agencies utilize two offices on a rotating basis to meet with clients at the current FRC facility. Some agencies are turned away because there currently is not enough room for expanding critical services, limiting opportunity for growth and access to essential services. 

"Our semi-private offices are not ideal for sharing confidential information," said Kari Harbaugh Family Resource Center Director. "Storage for our seasonal clothes, supplies, and food is limited with no space for expansion, and we frequently have to turn away donations due to our storage being at capacity. We also have a need for a large, accessible, private meeting space for community classes and trainings." 

Jim Solomon, SHIIP Counselor added, "The current office location for SHIIP (Medicare Part D) is difficult for seniors because of the noise level. Meeting with those over 65 in a noisy environment can be troublesome. A new, quiet space would eliminate this barrier and help create a more private, less distracting and more productive meeting."

The new Community Resource Center building will make room for community members to conveniently access additional agencies, expand services FRC can provide, and create another option for a community space which can comfortably accommodate 150 people, in addition to providing much needed storage space for food, clothing and other basic necessities. 

Potential uses

Potential uses of the new space include increased access to services from agencies; private space available within the Family Resource Center office for rental options, and training opportunities for community members of all ages. 

Community Space

An available commercial kitchen makes the space ideal for community presentations and education, support groups, after school programs, and rental space for private groups and parties. 

The project is set to break ground soon with Phase One expected to be complete by October 2024.

For additional information or if you would like to make a contribution, get in touch with project contacts Austin Coon, GEIDC, at 563-357-5074 or Tim Ahlers, Guttenberg Municipal Hospital CEO, at 563-252-1121.

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