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Posted on: June 26, 2018

Community Partnership to Open O’Reilly Center for Hope at Pepperdine Building

 Community Partnership of the Ozarks (CPO) recently purchased the former Pepperdine Elementary School building from Springfield Public Schools. Today, CPO released plans for the future of the historic property, including relocating the current Springfield Affordable Housing Center to the building, which will be named the O’Reilly Center for Hope.  The O’Reilly family – Charlie & Mary Beth, David, Larry and Rosalie O’Reilly Wooten – are donating $1 million toward the new Center.


“We are so excited and humbled to receive this very generous gift from the O’Reilly family. Their gift, along with the $1 million in HUD funding provided by the City, is helping us restore the historic Pepperdine building and make it a community-centered hub for affordable housing and homeless prevention services, education, and other resources vital to the growth of our community,” said Janet Dankert, President and CEO at Community Partnership of the Ozarks. “Community Partnership, at its essence, is community driven. We work hard to build the community you want to work, play and live in. With our 27-year track record of investing in families, the expansion of our current Housing Center into the O’Reilly Center for Hope will bring valuable services directly to the northeast quadrant of Springfield, where few resources are located,” Dankert said.


“We plan to expand our housing services and better connect people with resources. We will continue the long history of community-centric learning, providing a one-stop center for resources regarding housing and financial education,” said Michelle Garand, Vice-President of Affordable Housing & Homeless Prevention. “We bring together community stakeholders - residents, families, faith communities, agencies, government and law enforcement -- to build relationships and to leverage all resources to help neighborhoods flourish.”


“We strive to create collaboration in all that we do. To this end, the O’Reilly Center for Hope will bring together partner agencies to create a one-stop center to help individuals find and sustain housing that is safe, decent, and affordable. By offering financial counseling and ongoing Making Sense of Money financial literacy classes; in-service training on tenant rights and responsibilities and the Tools for Life program; and home buyer opportunities and educational information, we can help households understand the responsibilities of being a good renter, a good property owner, and a viable, connected member of a neighborhood community.”


CPO’s One Door program will be located at the Center as well as the Springfield Community Land Trust. Partners who will provide services and resources onsite at the O’Reilly Center for Hope will include Burrell Behavioral Health, OACAC, Legal Services of Southern Missouri, Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri, Family Support Division, the Springfield Police Department, and many more.


“We are excited to move forward with renovations, and we couldn’t do this without the expertise and collaborative partnership we’ve developed with Paragon Architecture, who is providing project management and architecture services to the project,” said Dankert. "The new O’Reilly Center for Hope will provide many more opportunities for us to connect the people we serve with the resources they need to thrive.”


Additional funding secured or pledged so far includes a $250,000 challenge grant from The J E and L E Mabee Foundation, Inc., a $20,000 grant from the BKD Foundation, and individual donations.  


To make a donation or for more information about the plans for the new O’Reilly Center for Hope, call 417-888-2020.





The mission of Community Partnership of the Ozarks is to facilitate and promote the building of resilient children, healthy families, and strong neighborhoods and communities through collaboration, programming and resource development. For more information on the Partnership’s collaborative efforts and programs, visit

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