It’s not unusual to see long lines and a crowded lobby at The Heart Ministry Center on 22nd and Binney Streets. Even when their building is full, the Heart Ministry is not turning people away from service they provide to the community. To continue to grow their reach, the center recently completed a renovation and addition to their building.
MCL Construction, design partner Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture, andProject Advocates collaborated on the two-phase project that would more than triple the center's footprint in our community.
“Some of my favorite jobs have been the nonprofit jobs,” said MCL Project Manager Tyler Adams. “The people you work with have a different type of relationship because they have a different priority for the build and knowing you are doing something that is going to benefit the community is rewarding.”
The first phase included a renovation to their existing building at 2222 Binney Street in Omaha, Nebraska. It included new offices, a larger food pantry, a new customer waiting area, a clothing boutique, and second-floor offices.
Before construction, the customer waiting area was big enough to comfortably hold about 25 people. Chief Executive Officer of the Heart Ministry Center Eric Crawford says some days he would see more than 100 people in the lobby and out the doors of the center. The renovation created a more comfortable space for people to gather and seek the center’s services.
More essential than the waiting space was the growing demand for a more functional food pantry. The Heart Ministry Center is the state’s busiest food pantry. They serve thousands of pounds a week and, since the start of COVID, they have increased their distribution to 500,000 pounds of food a month.
“We had done all that we could to make the space functional and it still was not functional,” said Crawford.
MCL Construction completely gutted and renovated the food pantry adding 1,030 more square feet to help with the collection and distribution of food to families.
Photos By: Architectural Photography Inc.
The second phase included 12 new individual offices for case managers, dental exam and operating rooms, and something that is brand new to the center, a laundromat.
The 1,500 square foot laundromat features 20 washers and 24 dryers. The facility is part of the Heart Ministry Center but is designed and built with a separate entrance for the public to have access all day, every day. In addition to the cleaning services, and in line with the center’s mission to provide more opportunities for community members, the laundromat creates more jobs.
“Our mission is to help people move forward and be self-sufficient,” said Crawford. “This helps us move forward with that mission.”
Before construction, the Heart Ministry Center provided services to an average of 7,000 people per month. We are grateful to help create a larger, more functional space that celebrates dignity for all.
“It is almost sad to see it be done because I really enjoyed working with MCL’s Tyler Adams and Seth Holstein,” said Crawford. “They wanted us to be happy and were very pleasant to work with. If I saw them when I was out to dinner I would stop and talk to them because I really enjoyed them as people.”
Construction was completed on the project in August.
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