Grace’s Place Crisis Nursery has long sought a facility in Union.

Thanks to tax credits, that goal is closer to reality. Recently the Missouri Department of Economic Development announced Grace’s Place was one of the recipients of Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) tax credits.

NAP is intended to help not-for-profit groups “raise funds by providing state tax credits to businesses that make contributions to approved community improvement projects.” This year, $7.57 million was awarded through the program.

Executive Director Amanda Jones said Grace’s Place will receive close to $150,000 in credits. With the credits, Jones said Grace’s Place will pay for renovations for its Union facility. This would be the second location for Grace’s Place which operates a facility in Washington.

Jones said Grace’s Place has 24 months to sell the credits. 

The credits will be used to spruce up the building the group is close to purchasing. Jones said Grace’s Place is in the process of acquiring the property at 219 N. Christina Ave. 

The building is the former site of Rainbow Activity Center. Jones expects the closing to happen sometime early in 2019. 

Grace’s Place serves as a respite program from families in crisis. The program provides emergency shelter service for up to 30 days for children at risk for abuse or other crises. Grace’s Place takes in children between the ages of birth to 18 years old.

Families at Grace’s Place have access to a caseworker, case management, outreach and referrals to resolve the crisis and return the child to a safe environment. Grace’s Place has a location in Washington. Jones said she’s been at Grace’s Place for more than six years and for the last five years, getting a second location has been a priority for the organization. 

“This has been part of our plan for past five years,” she said. “For us to finally to get the point that we’re going to buy the second building — that’s just huge for us.”

Jones said once the purchase goes through, the NAP credits will allow renovations to begin quickly. She said plans right now call to “gut and renovate” the building.

The renovation process will mean turning the building into something similar to its Washington location. Jones said that means updating bathrooms, bedrooms and a kitchen. Security features also will be updated.

Once finished, Jones said the building would house six beds. The Washington location has eight. 

The increase in beds would be beneficial, Jones said. 

“Hopefully we won’t have a wait list,” she said. “We’ll be able to help any family that calls.”

Grace’s Place attempted to move to Union in 2016. It purchased property, but found out it couldn’t be developed because it was a flood buyout property.

Jones said Union’s central location to Franklin County makes it an ideal place for Grace’s Place. She said people might not want to drive all the way to Washington, but Union might be closer.

“We’re very excited about it,” she said. “It’s taken a long time.”