Callaway Cares promotes recycling program, outlines services

Emily O'Leary / Fulton Sun
Alina Morelock showcasing work from the beginning stages of Callaway Cares' recycling program. The non-profit plans to build a tiny home community for homeless people using recycled plastic bricks.
Emily O'Leary / Fulton Sun Alina Morelock showcasing work from the beginning stages of Callaway Cares' recycling program. The non-profit plans to build a tiny home community for homeless people using recycled plastic bricks.

Callaway Cares outlined its projects and services with the Callaway Resource Network at Thursday's meeting.

Alina Morelock, office manager and board vice president at Callaway Cares, said the non-profit focuses on housing stability and helping others meet housing and basic needs.

"All of our programs and all of our plans come back to helping the unhoused," Morelock said.

The non-profit will focus on its plastic recycling program in the new year.

"Our goal with the plastics program and our mission in general is to create tiny homes for homeless people so that we can pretty much create a small community of transitional housing or possibly permanent housing," Morelock said.

Callaway Cares melts #2 and #5 plastics into "cinderblock-sized Lego bricks that click together," Morelock said, adding the plastic bricks are hard to break and good at insulating.

Morelock recently learned Callaway County does not recycle plastic.

"The blue bins that people are still using, a lot of that gets taken to Jefferson City, but it does still end up going to the dump," Morelock said.

April Redman, founder of Callaway Cares, said the non-profit has processed 3 tons of plastic since starting the program in May.

"We have gained more plastic than we really thought that we were going to," Redman said.

Callaway Cares is searching for land to build the tiny home community.

"If we could just get an acre, then we would be able to start putting it all together," Morelock said.

Callaway Cares conducts homeless outreach by providing basic needs and delivering a hot meal to a camp in Kingdom City. Morelock said homeless people in the community have been underserved.

"It takes a lot of time and a lot of building trust with a few individuals to be able to actually get access to the rest of the population," Morelock said.

A part of Callaway Cares' homeless outreach is to make reintegrating into society "less of an intimidating step to take," Morelock said.

Other services Callaway Cares provides include eviction diversion and a no-kill cat rescue.

Morelock said the non-profit will oftentimes connect its clients to other agencies such as Central Missouri Community Action.

"We really, really try to partner and work with other resources in the area," Morelock said.