NORMAN — Gene Barnes' dream of providing transitional housing for homeless families is a little closer to fruition.
City council members Tuesday approved a final site plan for the project, which will be built on about six acres at 2525 E Lindsey St.
Barnes, founder and director of Mission Norman, said preliminary work on E Lindsey is complete. Construction should begin soon, although money to fund the project is still being raised, he said.
“We still need to raise a lot of money, but we have faith that God will provide,” Barnes said.
Mission Norman is a faith-based community outreach program that provides food for about 1,000 families a month. More than 50 of those families have been identified as homeless, he said.
Barnes wants to build apartments in fourplexes that will house up to 20 families.
The building project also includes plans for a new Mission Center, which will be equipped with a larger food pantry, worship center that seats up to 155 people, classrooms, offices and possibly dental and medical facilities, Barnes said.
“Mission Norman continues to rapidly expand. In just three years, we have increased our food assistance program five times, our auto assistance program seven times, doubled our rent assistance and quadrupled utility assistance,” he said.
The new Mission Center will be 18,000 square feet, big enough to meet the growing needs of the community outreach program, Barnes said.
The housing project will provide two-bedroom apartments for qualified families. Families will be offered counseling, job assistance and classes in healthy living, he said.