Crossroads Mission Wants to Expand in Hastings and Kearney

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Crossroads Mission Director Jerry Bumgardner says they've been reaching their 74 person capacity at their Hastings shelter almost all year - a trend unlikely to change anytime soon.

"Because of the economy we're seeing more families and children," says Bumgardner.

So Crossroads is asking the City of Hastings to allow them more occupancy.

Hastings City Planner Rich Cartier says a building the size of the shelter there could house 170 people, but inspectors felt that was too many, so they recommended a smaller increase to the Hastings Planning Commission.

"As the building stands today they would be able to have 112 people, and then later with some modifications within their current building they could up that to 130," says Cartier.

The Commission gave the recommendation the green light, and Bumgardner says they'll gladly the take the 40-50 person increase.

"People are waiting to come in and it's not our busy time even right now, it's the winter coming up," he says. "If it does get really cold, which it will, and snow... people do not have anywhere to go."

Crossroads has also asked the Kearney Planning Commission to let them go from a 27 person maximum to 42.

Bumgardner says they don't plan to expand either building, but rather make changes inside.

"They'd be changes like adding showers, maybe bigger meeting rooms, maybe a bigger dining room," he says.

Crossroads will have to wait for both city councils to approve the permit changes before they can bring more people in.

Bumgardner says they're also happy to be completely funded by the people of the communities they're in.

"We are completely donor funded, we do not have any government funding now," he says. "We're excited because we are a testimony of the community of Kearney and the community of Hastings, that they take care of their own."