A non-profit group in the Tenth Judicial District announced Monday that it would be expanding in southeast Arkansas.

Sativa Carpenter of Hamburg is the executive director of the Monticello based non-profit group, Options Inc.

Options is a non-profit organization founded in 1989 to serve victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Options has the only women's shelter in the 10th judicial district.

The program has a home office in Monticello, but has outreach houses in multiple locations in south Arkansas.

On Monday night, Carpenter announced that the group would soon be opening a location in Eudora. Carpenter worked with Chicot County Judge Mack Ball Jr. to obtain a building to operate from and says it will be a new hub where the group can offer services.

“We’ve been offering services to the area for a while, but it’s been from a distance,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter said Sheriff Ron Nichols is on the Options board of directors and has worked directly with the group for some time.

Carpenter said that Nichols and other board members felt that Options needed to expand on the services offered in the Eudora area.

Carpenter said the group recently received a grant that will not only allow them to hire six workers at their new Eudora location, but will also allow for them to purchase two transportation vehicles.

“Eudora is the first location to be awarded a grant for transportation,” Carpenter said.

Although Options focuses primarily on battered women and victims of domestic violence, Carpenter said the two vehicles will be used to assist with transportation of anyone in need.

“Only one in seven families in Eudora have a means of transportation,” Carpenter said.

Options will assist those who can’t get to and from their court appearances or to necessary places such as the DHS office.

Carpenter said Options will also partner with the program New Beginnings to offer drug addiction counseling and other addiction services at the Eudora location.

Carpenter also announced that the group received a 65,000 grant from the state strictly to be used to help people who do not have homes get settled.

“It’s hard for a person to come up with the first month’s rent and deposit, but that’s where we come in,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter said the program will be strictly to help residents of Eudora find a home and get on their feet.

“We want to give people opportunity and create a better community by giving a hand up not a hand out,” Carpenter said.

The facility in Eudora will also be able to sign off on volunteer hours for those who need them for state and government programs.

Carpenter said that those who need hours for SNAP benefits or other state programs may volunteer with Options and receive volunteer or community service credit hours.

Carpenter said right now they are in the hiring process at the Eudora location but hope to soon be up and running and serving the citizens of Eudora.

Carpenter said the new location is expected to open on Jan. 14.

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