- History -



The Gaines House was established in 1967 through the combined efforts of the Little Rock Junior League, the Pulaski County Mental Health Association, Arkansas Rehabilitation Services and Altrusa International.  The Gaines House is a large, 2-story brick house built in 1870 and is on the National Register of Historic Homes.  Although there are no private bedrooms, the bedrooms are large and spacious enough to accommodate from 2 to 4 women.  It is beautifully decorated and has a home like atmosphere.

Gaines House has recently rehabilitated two houses in the rear of the main house. These houses are called the Little House and the Carriage House and consist of two apartments that will accommodate up to six residents.  These residents are ones who have worked through various treatment programs and are deemed to be ready to move out into mainstream living, but feel that they need an opportunity for less supervised support.

Like many who are homeless, the residents of Gaines House have needed a transitional program to help them understand and overcome barriers to independent living.  Each resident is required to either be employed, in training for employment or attending outpatient psychiatric treatment programs.  The caring staff helps them adjust to the new environment and expectations.  We facilitate the transition from dependency to independent living.

We take referrals from mental health facilities in this area, such as the Little Rock Community Mental Health Center, Gain Program and Professional Counseling Associates.  We also accept referrals from Arkansas Rehabilitation Services. Residents are required to have case managers who we will partner with and can call whenever we see changes in their behavior.  Some residents may encounter compliance issues with their treatment plan, and may stop taking the prescribed medication.  At Gaines House, we have someone on duty that is experienced enough to recognize unusual behavior and are prepared to address the situation.

Over the years, Gaines House has empowered hundreds of homeless women with physical or mental disabilities to successfully complete the rehabilitation process and become reciprocal members of our community.  The skill of the well-trained staff at Gaines House has been a factor in an astounding eighty-seven percent success rate of clients acquiring rehabilitation and returning to the community.  We use the following tools to achieve this success rate:

  • Assess immediate and long-term needs, goals are made and action steps are determined.
  • Work closely with each resident and her case manager to plan a program that meets her individual needs.
  • Schedule trainings regarding health, nutrition, personal hygiene.
  • Schedule field trips and events, designed to offer residents opportunity for interaction with the community.
  • Focus on teaching independent living skills.
  • Evaluate barriers to establishing stable housing.
  • Encourage residents to save money for rental and utility deposits.
  • Provide information and opportunity to develop a pattern of budgeting funds and paying bills on time.
  • Offer information and education about accessing various Local, State and Federal programs to facilitate economic stability.
  • Assistance with search for permanent housing.

We have a cook who prepares the evening meal.  The residents are responsible for preparing their breakfast and lunch.   Residents of Little House and Carriage House will be responsible for purchasing and preparing their own meals.

We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Our office hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.  We can give tours Monday through Thursday from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.

The Altrusa Club of Little Rock has been helping The Gaines House since about 1968 with money, gifts and parties.  The employees of the Student Loan Guarantee Foundation of Arkansas have supplied volunteers, gifts, and donations.  The Junior League of Little Rock has helped with projects over the years.  The Pilot Club of Little rock is also an ongoing and active supporter of the Gaines House.  We are a member of the United Way of Pulaski County and a member of our local Continuum of Care organization called Central Arkansas Team Care for Homeless (CATCH).