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DECATUR — A groundbreaking for the Northeast Community Fund today represents the start of a new era for the social service agency that has been helping the less fortunate for more than 40 years.

The groundbreaking will be at 11 a.m. at the site of the new building, 839 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The public is invited. The event will include information about the new center and a reception.

The Northeast Community Fund provides food, clothing and financial help for the less fortunate, and medical financial assistance and general advice for those who are struggling.

The new facility was first announced in June of 2016 and will cost $2.5 million to build. The overall goal is to raise $3.9 million for supplies like furnishings, equipment, a refrigerated truck and a new freezer/cooler for food storage, Executive Director Jerry Pelz said in a Herald & Review article last fall.

The goal was to raise $2 million before the ground was broken. The original plan was to perform the groundbreaking in the spring. Pelz said previously that the organization is cramped and crowded in its current space, but the new building will change that.

“We are surviving where we are,” Pelz said previously. “We have the opportunity to thrive in the new facility.”

The current facility is 8,000 square feet, while the new one will be 20,000 square feet. That will allow for a separate area for the clothing room, a lobby, offices to provide clients with privacy when consulting staff and more food storage than they can have in their present location.

The new location is next to the Crossing Healthcare Campus, which will benefit those who go to the Northeast Community Fund. The clientele often overlaps, and a city bus runs by Crossing at least every 30 minutes, so transportation may be easier for them as well.

 

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Contact Claire Hettinger at (217) 421-6985. Follow her on Twitter: @ClaireHettinger

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Public Safety Reporter

Public safety reporter for the Herald & Review.

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