Circle of Care moves into new building Thursday

Published 7:00 am Thursday, December 19, 2019

VALLEY — The Circle of Care Center for Families has a new home in Valley.

For the past year, it’s been a slow move into the Valley Medical Park for Circle of Care. However, on Wednesday, the moving trucks made several trips from the old building at 2200 35th Place in Valley to behind EAMC-Lanier to move in all necessary items to conduct business. On Thursday, all phone calls and services began happening out of the new building.

The Circle of Care closed on the new building in July. Executive Director Jonathan Herston said funding for the new building was a concern for a bit, but the support from the community, local companies and foundations made it possible for the organization to move in by the end of the year.

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“It’s really been nothing short of miraculous,” he said. “I mean, it was basically that we had a plan, then that didn’t work and then all this support came from all sorts of different places.”

The reason for the move centered mostly on the fact that Circle of Care has grown out of its current facility. The organization has experienced so much growth that one of its program supervisors gave up his desk to ensure more programs could be offered.

That supervisor gave up his desk to make room for the marriage and family therapy center, which is a joint program with the University of Auburn to provide counseling services on a sliding scale. Herston said the program helps those in Chambers County who need it without having to travel to Auburn.

Hertson said even though the marriage and family therapy program is a top-notch offering, the program supervisors need a desk to do their job effectively.

Additionally, Herston said Circle of Care is starting to offer even more parents program that it wouldn’t be able to provide in the old building. More programs in the Chambers County Jails and the Chambers County School System are on the way. He said there are employment preparation and workforce development components to those as well.

One of the more visible additions to the Circle of Care will be the business incubator rooms at the new building.

“That’s something that we will be able to offer here that we weren’t able to before,” Herston said.

He said the organization isn’t accepting tenants for the space yet, but a business incubator advisory board will meet soon to figure out how it wants to present the project to the public. Herston said the incubators would be a joint project with the Chambers County Development Authority and Point University to give entrepreneurs a place to get their business off the ground.

The new building will also have presentation rooms, which gives the Circle of Care more meeting space but also an opportunity for other organizations to rent out the space for meetings. Herston said the area could be used for foster children visitations arranged through the Chambers County Department of Human Resources.

Circle of Care will also own this building as opposed to renting the older building on 35th Place.

“That saves us some operations costs, which we will be able to put those resources back into the community,” Herston said. “It’s a more optimal environment for us in this stage of our organization.”

Just because Herston is excited about moving into the new place, it doesn’t mean there aren’t bittersweet feelings about leaving the building Circle of Care has operated in for more than two decades.

“Anytime you leave something that you’ve been attached to and worked in for so long, there’s going to be a bit of grief that takes place with that transition,” he said. “But at the same time, there’s a lot more excitement about what we can or will be able to provide out of here.”

He said the level of program and what Circle of Care will now be able to do for the people in the Greater Valley area far outweighs the grief of leaving the former building.