Immerse Arkansas, a Little Rock-based nonprofit organization, launched a $805,000 renovation and expansion project on Fri. Oct. 16, 2020. The project is part of the city’s Asher Avenue revitalization project.
Immerse Arkansas began in 2010 to assist young people who were aging out of the foster care system. The new building is known as “Overcomer Central,” or the OC, and will serve young people aged 14-24 who are escaping situations of crisis. Construction on the project is scheduled to last six months.
“Here at Immerse, we have designed a program, maybe even a community, that creates a pathway for young people that are coming out of crisis, like aging out of foster care or trafficking situations or homelessness or poverty. We surround them with people who care about them, people who love them and who want to give them an opportunity,” executive director Eric Gilmore said.
The OC will expand from 7,000 to 8,600 square feet, which will include the addition of a second floor for office and meeting space. Immerse will also have additional space to expand their programs for young people, including life skills classes, a teaching kitchen, computers, and personal mailboxes.
Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. spoke at the event and discussed how the Immerse expansion is part of the Asher Avenue revitalization initiative.
“We’re glad that this is one of the first projects of our Asher revitalization program that will take and benefit from this [program], because you all at Immerse are being intentional, you are serving a purpose of intervention, and you are immersing yourselves in the community here on Asher Avenue.” Scott said.
Gilmore, Scott, and other members of the Immerse Arkansas community broke ground at the event by punching through an existing wall with sledgehammers.