The St. James Caring Center was chosen as the recipient of a notable Community Development Block Grant from the Missouri Department of Economic Development; totaling over $300,000.

The Missouri Department of Economic Development announced today that the St. James Caring Center was awarded a $344,110 Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) to renovate the facility and improve parking areas — the renovations will allow for the center to increase services to the community’s low income and elderly population.


A kick-off meeting was held April 25 with Ryan Reed of the Missouri Department of Economic Development CDBG program to review the project documents and processes. 


CDBG Programs are designed to support the well-being of Missouri’s communities and increase their capacity for growth. Grants are available in several categories and can be utilized for a variety of community development initiatives.


“With this grant, the St. James Caring Center can make the facility improvements necessary to continue serving the community and helping those in need,”Department of Economic Development Deputy Director Luke Holtschneider said. “DED is proud to support projects like these that make a meaningful impact on our citizens.”


Through a senior center, thrift store and food pantry, the St. James Caring Center serves as a one-stop resource for community members in need.


“The St. James Caring Center is a non-profit one-stop resource center dedicated to meeting the temporary emergency needs of individuals,” Caring Center Director Nancy Montgomery said. “CDBG funds are earmarked for expansion of the Thrift Store which will allow inclusion of more furniture and appliances. Big ticket items generate a larger cash flow, which in turn, supports our programs.”


The scope of the project includes paving the new 18,000 square-foot parking area that will serve both the senior center and the food pantry, including parking blocks, striping signage and an additional sidewalk. 


Construction will also include a curb and gutter to direct storm waters from the parking lot and a new dumpster enclosure away from the buildings. Additionally, proposed changes to the facility will allow the thrift store additional space for receiving and sorting areas, and renovations include replacing flooring, removing walls, increasing retail space, adding new overhands and facade to the exterior and adding a new south side entrance for larger donations. 


“Without the CDBG funding, our facility would remain at a halt in regard to growth. Our goal is perpetual: The success of the Caring Center is accomplished by a group of people working together to better the lives of everyone that call the community home,” Montgomery said. 


Missouri Engineering is providing professional engineering and architecture services for the project. Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) prepared the grant request and will administer the grant on behalf of Phelps County, who is sponsoring the grant on the Caring Center’s behalf. The Caring Center is providing $5,000 in match and in-kind work valued at $5,700 for a total project of $354,810.


“We are excited to see these improvements at the Caring Center,” MRPC Executive Director Bonnie Prigge said. “The Caring Center is a vital resource in the Phelps County area, and we are pleased that we can continue to assist them in securing this grant so they can better serve families and seniors.”


The St. James Caring Center is located at 113 W. Eldon St. in St. James.