Helping Hands breaks ground on renovation and expansion project

(ROCKWALL, TX – August 28, 2015) Rockwall County Helping Hands kickstarted its capital campaign renovations project on Friday morning, Aug. 28, with a groundbreaking at site of the project’s first phase – the Reeves Service Center at 102 S.First St.

Phase 1 of the project will see the Helping Hands Assistance and Referral program move its operations into a newly-renovated Reeves Center, which will expand to almost twice its size to incorporate a larger food pantry, reception area and bigger space for offices.

“We’re going to go from a little over 2500 square feet to just shy of 6000 square feet,” said Helping Hands President and CEO Jon Bailey as he addressed those gathered at the ceremony. “We’re going to double the size of the food pantry, reception area and office space. It’s really going to position the Helping Hands Assistance and Referral on the road to progress, so we’re excited about that.”

Bailey went on to give a big shout out to the general contractors of the project – Mike, Wayne and Matt Mershawn of Mershawn Associates Architecture and Construction – who he said were instrumental in the process of putting Helping Hands in a prime position to expand its facilities and help more clients.

“They went out to their subcontractors and shared the mission of Helping Hands, and got them to donate time and money,” Bailey said. “So it was a big help to us getting everything we needed for this project done and make it functional, but do it the right way and do it on a shoestring budget.”

Mershawn Associates hope to have Phase 1 completed in 30 days.

Phase 2 of the capital campaign project will involve renovating Building A located at the Helping Hands main campus and moving The Boutique into that building. Phase 3 will see an expansion of the Thrift Store and its sales floor, followed by the construction of a covered 10,000 sq. ft. processing facility in Phase 4.

Last but not least, The Helping Hands Health Center will be expanded so that both it and the Emergency Assistance program can operate in the same location together.

The projected budget for all five phases comes in at $2 million. Out of that, Helping Hands has raised about $256,000.

“We’re going to pay as we go,” Bailey said. “We’re going to try not to incur any debt with this project. It may string out our projects for a year and a half to two years but that’s okay, because at I know we’re not strapping the organization with debt and are being good financial stewards of the money that we’re raising for this capital campaign.”

To make a donation to the Helping Hands of Rockwall County Capital Campaign, or to learn more about the organization, visit

Story by Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News staff writer and reporter. Photos by Richard Redig. 

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