Community Outreach Center coming to Sigourney

            A new community outreach center will make its home at the former location of The Church of Christ in Sigourney with the cooperation of the Ministerial Association and Keokuk County.

            “About a year and half ago, the church closed and the former members were trying to decide what to do with their building,” Dave Welch, a member of the Ministerial Association said. “They talked to me and didn’t want the church building to back to a non-church organization. I talked to them about bringing a Christian Counseling program and then became a vision of how we can reach the whole community with different things in one center. They elected us to take over and use it for outreach in the community.”

            The community outreach center will provide a space for programs like Alcoholics Annoymous, New Hope Counseling services and parental support groups to have their own space to host meetings. Upkeep will be funded by donations raised by the Ministerial Association, with Keokuk County contributing to the utilities of the building such as internet and phone. Mental Health/General Assistance Coordinator Tami Gilliland would also move her office into this center to centralize services for the Keokuk County community.

            “Tami is a resource for the community and by correlating all our resources into one location, we will be better equipped to serve the people in our community,” Welch said. “Events and services outside of Keokuk County could move to Sigourney because they would have a place to meet. By doing this, we could bring people to one central place.”

            “The center will not receive any funding from the county, nor will they ask for any to bring [Tami’s] office in,” Welch said. “We have asked that they offset some of the utilities for $100 a month. We are not charging rent, we are not seeking county money. That’s not why we are involved in this.”

            Funds have already begun to be raised by the Ministerial Association and will plan fundraisers in the near future. Currently, the group is in the developmental stage and will make announcements about future plans at later dates.