SIKESTON -- Staff members and volunteers of Missouri Bootheel Regional Consortium this week are settling into the organization's new home located at a mini mall strip in Portageville.
CEO Cynthia Dean called the move into the 14,000-plus square-foot facility a wonderful opportunity for growth.
"The sky is the limit for opportunity once we get settled in, and this building and the activities we will be able to provide are testimony of what people can do when people work together," Dean said.
MBRC consolidated its offices, which were located at 127 E. Malone St. in Sikeston and at 824 N. Bypass in Kennett. The organization began moving last week to its new location at 46 Highway 162 East in Portageville.
"The staff is kind of in awe, and it's a very beautifully designed building and the morale has been boosted," Dean said.
Due to its success of providing services, the organization expanded to meet the growing needs of the community, Dean said. The Sikeston site is also one of the buildings scheduled for demolition as part of Sikeston's Land Clearance Redevelopment Authority.
Dean said the Portageville location was chosen in part because it was a central point for those who utilize MBRC's services, which are residents in Scott, New Madrid, Mississippi, Pemiscot and Dunklin counties.
"We're actually creating an opportunity to do more, serve better," Dean said. The new location will provide MBRC with several training opportunities due to its larger size and the ability to provide technical assistance, Dean said.
In addition to increased office space, the facility includes an executive conference room that holds up to 50 people and another conference room that can fit 30 people. A large exercise room is also part of the facility.
"We will also have a certified laboratory for pregnancy testing and other things the organization hasn't been able to do. Registered nurses and social workers will also be on staff at the new facility," Dean said.
The new location and facility will also allow MBRC to network with Dunklin and Pemiscot counties in an effort to reach the Hispanic population, Dean said. The organization recently hired a bilingual case manager and expects to add another one in the future, she said.
MBRC's Healthy Start, which marks its 10th anniversary this year, is part of a federal national initiative that provides in-home case management services to pregnant mothers and those with infants under 1 year old.
Some of MBRC's successful programs include "Fatherhood First," "Healthy Baby Classes" and "Saving Our Families."
MBRC was also recently selected as one of 10 projects nationwide to take part in the Domestic Violence Technical Assistance Project.
Dean said MBRC serves thousands living in its five-county service area and has a 200-plus volunteer base. Currently 20-22 people make up MBRC's staff, she said.
"We started in a small home on North Main Street in Sikeston. I love to show this in our presentations, and let others see my office was a bedroom. We started very humbly and grew in the community," Dean said.
The organization grew out of the community's need and desire for MBRC's services, Dean said.
An open house is tentatively being scheduled for early May, Dean said, adding she'd like to have the governor and other legislators present for the event.
Meanwhile, the staff will continue to unpack this week.
"We're happy and pleased -- a little tired," Dean said, comparing the move to giving birth to a baby. "It's like something was born here. The labor pains here are getting settled, and after that, we see the miracle of what has happened."