Arc moving to Hwy. 90 to expand services

September 09, 2010 at 2:49 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

One of the services that the Arc hopes to expand with their move is bead recycling.
Thelezia Folse
One of the services that the Arc hopes to expand with their move is bead recycling.
The Arc of St. Charles is relocating a majority of its services to Highway 90, which will allow them to expand upon their shredding business while also allowing more room for their thrift store.

The building they are moving into formerly housed both Fisher Furniture and Good Housekeeping.

“The building we are moving into is about 10,000 square feet larger than our facility on Old Spanish Trail,” Victoria Bryant, the executive director of the Arc, said. “We have been a hidden treasure, but by relocating to Highway 90 more people will begin to recognize our name, become more knowledgeable of our services and value what we do to impact the lives of the people we serve.”

The Arc, which employs people with a disability, currently performs a wide variety of services. One of the main ones is their shredding business, which has 10 employees.

“With this move, we will be able to expand our commercial shredding capabilities and hopefully tap into businesses in the community,” Bryant said. “Right now we have state and federal contracts, but they mostly cover the cost of our supplies and materials. Now, we should be able to take on larger clients.”

One of the relatively new services the Arc offers is the recycling and selling of beads. Last year, the Arc sold 2,500 recycled beads, which were brought in by residents overburdened with the Mardi Gras necessity, in only two months.

“We also have 10 employees in our bead recycling program, and with this new space we can be more creative, which I believe will lead to more bead sales,” Bryant said.

Additionally, the Arc offers lawn and janitorial services, pressure washing and car washing services, and custodial services.

“We have a partnership with the United Way and a contract with Council on Aging that allows our employees to care for the seniors in this community,” Bryant said. “Many of them are home alone while their loved ones are working or taking care of their own home.

“We provide companionship, ensure safety/health, meal preparations, light cleaning, bathing and other personal care as needed.”

Another major factor for the move was the Arc’s Cajun Village store. The store is a new training facility for individuals with a disability to learn how to operate a cash register, price items, sort items, and greet patrons.

“Our objective is to make the transition smoother when placing individuals in a department store,” Bryant said.
Cajun Village sells clothing, household items, furniture, TVs, books, and even records from the 70s and 80s.
“We sell everything,” Bryant said.

Bryant said the organization will maintain its building on Old Spanish Trail because that is where the administrative offices and day habilitation services will remain.

They also plan to reopen the kitchen in that facility with a “new treat” to the community.

“We will continue pursuing new endeavors that will allow us to offer more opportunities to people with disabilities,” Bryant said. “Everyone that walks through our doors doesn’t want to mow the lawn, clean a bathroom, shred papers, sort beads, or work in a store.

“So, I ask the community, how can you help? Please let us know.”

The Arc serves more than 235 people with disabilities and/or special needs. They employ more than 150 people across the spectrum of services offered.

Bryant said the Arc is planning to move into their new facility in October.

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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J.B. Martin Middle School receives $1,600 grant from Cox Charities’ grant program
J.B. Martin Middle School receives $1,600 grant from Cox Charities’ grant program
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