Jane Hunt donates $1 million to south Fayetteville housing project


Officials with the New Beginnings housing community on Monday announced the largest gift in the organization’s history.

Officials said Jane Hunt, whose parents J.B. and Johnelle founded J.B. Hunt Transport Services, has donated $1 million toward the completion of the project, which is a community for people experiencing long-term homelessness.

The money will also provide financial support for sustained programming at New Beginnings.

The nonprofit community is located on about 5 acres of land off School Avenue and 19th Street, south of 7 Hills Homeless Center.

It includes 20 small, prefabricated shelter homes and a communal building with a shared commercial kitchen, shower house, laundry area, and meeting space. Also includes is a fenced perimeter with a 24-hour security system, and on-duty overnight personnel to ensure the community is safe. A participatory management model aims to engage participants in the governance of the community and the care of
the facilities.

Prefabricated shelter example / Courtesy photo

“Ms. Hunt has given us a considerable runway toward funding the program, and we invite others who want to make this kind of impact to join her in partnering with us in this difficult but necessary effort,” said Aaron J. Marshall, president of the organization’s board of directors.

The gift was organized with help from the Arkansas Community Foundation, whose mission is to engage people, connect resources and inspire solutions to build community.

Hunt is a founding member of the Foundation’s Philanthropy Club in Northwest Arkansas. The club is made up of 44 women who are committed to learning about the needs of the community, according to a news release.

“I have been exploring the complex issue of homelessness in our community for several years,” said Hunt. “When I learned about the plans for the New Beginnings Bridge Housing program, I felt that for the first time there was a real solution that could truly work.

For more information, visit newbeginningsnwa.org.