On Monday, July 12th, the Texarkana Resource Center opened their doors for the first time to their new Training Center. “We have been here since 1968. Our organization as a whole provides a few different types of services for adults with disabilities. We provide community living services, employment services, and vocational and life skills training. The Training Center, has been a dream for me in the last six years that I’ve held this position. The building we are using was already here as a warehouse on the property. As we have continued to grow and reach more individuals in need, I knew we needed more room. With several grants, we were able to take everything out of this building and furnish it to meet the needs of those we service. It’s been a whirlwind, but we are so excited to finally be open, and able to help more adults in our area with disabilities,” says Jennifer Lewis the CEO of the Texarkana Resource Center.
Before opening the new Training Center, the Texarkana Resource Center was at its capacity. “With this new building we are able to work with 20 more adults who are in need of learning skills that will help them live their most independent lives,” says Jennifer. The new Training Center has a brand new kitchen built to house the needs of everyone. With lowered counters and sinks, and tools that provide help to those with visual impairments, the new kitchen will allow everyone in need the opportunity to learn skills to help them be as independent as possible. The Training Center also has a laundry room where they learn how to do laundry, fold and iron clothing. The building also houses several computers where participants learn how to use online banking systems to manage their money, as well as how to apply for jobs online. “We are just so grateful to finally be able to have a room that can service all of the needs of our community of adults with disabilities. We were in a small room before where they were learning how to cook in crockpots, and in a sink that wasn’t compatible for everyone. But now, everyone can learn, participate and grow,” says Jennifer.
The new Training Center is just one of the ways the Texarkana Resource Center is helping adults with disabilities in our area. “We have a warehouse where several of our members come in everyday and work. They learn job skills, and are actually doing work with the partners we have in the community, while also getting paid for their time. This allows us to continually help our adult members become more independent. Many of the adults that come to us daily are either living in homes with others with disabilities, or at home with parents or guardians. Our goal for everyone who comes in this door is to ensure that they are given support and resources, so that they can live as independently as possible,” says Jennifer. The Texarkana Resource Center also has a home for adults with disabilities living independently. “The Community Living Program is a three step program for our participants. First, they live in the community home where staff supports them 100%. They then transition out into training apartments, where the staff support is lowered, and eventually they move into community duplexes where our staff will still come in and help, while allowing them to live as independently as possible,” says Jennifer.
The Training Center is still in need of community support. “We still have a ways to go. We still need tools and resources for the kitchen. We also would love to find partners in our community to come in once a month and teach cooking classes, or classes about health and wellness from a local nurse. All of this will come together in time, but we still have a long way’s to go until we complete our goal,” says Jennifer.
The Texarkana Resource Center is located at 3015 East 19th Street Texarkana, AR 71854. For more information about the Texarkana Resource Center visit their website or call (870)-774-0578.