It was a day of new beginnings for Hope Village. A new location for the Once and Again Shop is now open at the corner of Front Street and 26th Avenue. Hope Village's new executive director Steve Johnson is also now on the job.
The Once and Again Shop supplies a large part of the funding for Hope Village. Johnson said that money helps them accomplish the mission of permanent shelter for abused and neglected children.
"Through Hope Village, we hope to reach out to the children of Mississippi that, for no real reason of their own, are moved out of their homes into the social service system," said Johnson.
The director said, as a long-term goal, he wants Meridian's Hope Village to develop a model for helping children that can be used across the state and the nation.
"That model at the present time looks like it's going to be built on developing a structure for children to grow and develop in," Johnson said. He admits that developing that model and sustaining Hope Village takes a lot of money, but he says volunteers are a big part of it, too.