The Jacksonville Day Resource Center is now operational, thanks to a wide-ranging community partnership that worked closely with the City of Jacksonville to bring the long-discussed idea into reality.
“This is a very exciting day for Jacksonville and I applaud everyone for coming together to work as a team on this important resource,” said Mayor Alvin Brown. “The Jacksonville Day Resource Center speaks to the heart and soul of this community. It speaks to our economic priorities, our drive to be proactive about Downtown improvement and our will to do what we can to help place the less fortunate on a path to self-sufficiency.”
The Day Center will begin as a one-year pilot project to measure the center’s effectiveness in improving the coordination and delivery of services to homeless people, and in improving relationships between the indigent, Downtown businesses, their customers, and residents and visitors in the Downtown area.
"This pilot project will allow service providers the opportunity to connect with persons who historically have been difficult to engage," said Dawn Gilman, CEO, Emergency Services & Homeless Coalition of Jacksonville, Inc. "We believe the Day Center will improve outcomes for those who come."
The location will serve as a safe, hospitable day resource center for the Downtown homeless population, where those in need can access a wide array of providers and services. The center will provide resources including showers, food, laundry facilities, and computer/phone access, as well as single point of contact for other services provided by inter-agency stakeholders within the community.
“We are so thrilled and grateful that after years of trying, we will finally have a place where the hundreds of people who live on the street can come for their daily needs and for connection to long term help,” said Cindy Funkhouser, CEO, Sulzbacher Center.
ACON Construction provided $130,000 worth of in-kind labor and materials and VRL Architects performed design work as an in-kind contribution. Wells Fargo contributed $70,000 and the City of Jacksonville committed $120,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding to move the project forward. The city’s Neighborhoods Department has taken an active role, along with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.
The Jacksonville Day Resource Center materialized through the efforts of many. The City of Jacksonville, Wells Fargo and City Rescue Mission are joined in this effort by Clara White Mission, Mental Health Resource Center, The Salvation Army, The Sulzbacher Center, Trinity Rescue Mission, River Region Human Services and The Veterans Administration.