Christopher Homes opens new affordable housing in LR

Christopher Homes of Arkansas executive director Jimmy McKinnon (center) prepares to cut the ribbon for their new Little Rock complex June 28 with board president Tom Harding (left) and Bishop Anthony B. Taylor.
Christopher Homes of Arkansas executive director Jimmy McKinnon (center) prepares to cut the ribbon for their new Little Rock complex June 28 with board president Tom Harding (left) and Bishop Anthony B. Taylor.

Christopher Homes of Arkansas dedicated its newest facility at 9216 Lanehart Road in Little Rock June 28 with a blessing by Bishop Anthony B. Taylor, a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house.
“We’ve been working on this project for a number of years,” executive director Jimmy McKinnon said to those gathered in the community room. “Today we are celebrating the opening of Christopher Homes of Little Rock. We want to welcome everyone today and show off this beautiful complex. I’m very excited about it and proud of it.”
Christopher Homes of Arkansas is the housing ministry of the Diocese of Little Rock that provides low-income housing for the elderly.
As of its opening, Christopher Homes of Little Rock’s 20 one-bedroom apartments were rented, with many residents attending the dedication and making plans to move in to their new homes.
“I’m getting my key this afternoon,” Linda Koehler said after the ribbon-cutting.
As soon as she heard about the project, Koehler said she’s been waiting to move in. She was a resident at Christopher Homes in Hot Springs prior to the opening of the Little Rock complex.
“It’s beautiful. And highly energy-efficient. They did a super job. As soon as this came up on the horizon, I was on it. I’ve been watching this baby come up. I’m so happy. We couldn’t have gotten better than this place. When you are on a fixed income, it is a privilege. It is a privilege to live here,” she said.
Queen Drew was looking at moving to Christopher Homes in North Little Rock, but she’s glad to be able to move to the Little Rock complex as it is closer to her doctors. Being on a fixed income, it takes all her money to pay for her rent where she lives in west Little Rock. Her children help when they can, but funds are tight for them as well in raising their own children — several of whom are college-bound.
“I was hoping they would build one in Little Rock. When they did, I applied. It seems like it’s going to be nice,” she said.
Both Drew and Koehler are looking forward to getting to know each other as neighbors. They stopped to talk with Bishop Taylor as he sprinkled holy water around the complex. Neither is Catholic, but thought the blessing was beautiful.
“Peace be with these homes and all who will live here. When Christ took flesh through the Blessed Virgin Mary, he made his home with us. Let us now pray that he will enter these homes and bless them with his presence,” the bishop said as part of the blessing of a new home for the complex.
The planning process for the Little Rock complex began in 2009. In 2010, the Department of Housing and Urban Development approved an application for the project, with a total grant for $1,818,500. Construction began on the project in May 2011.
Bishop Taylor sold the 2.5 acres of land in the Stagecoach Road area for the project.
The addition of the Little Rock project brings the total of Christopher Homes housing complexes to 24 that house 588 tenants throughout the state.
Both Drew and Koehler emphasized how important it was to have affordable housing and how grateful they were for the new Christopher Homes.
“This is a ministry as well. The purpose of Christopher Homes is to own and manage efficient, affordable housing for the low-income,” said Tom Harding, board president for Christopher Homes of Arkansas. “To me, the staff is doing a tremendous job. They are living this ministry every day. They are truly doing God’s work.”

Latest from News