Yesterday, I joined partners from throughout the community at the Sulzbacher Center to cut the ribbon on a brand new Mobile Medical Unit that will serve individuals experiencing homelessness in our community.
This new initiative builds upon the success we've experienced with the Urban Rest Stop we opened last year
. So, I was glad to cut the ribbon on another positive initiative that promises to enhance the services we offer to some of our most vulnerable citizens.
A few years ago, when I formed my Task Force on Downtown Homelessness, I charged them with figuring out ways to enhance access to existing services that help individuals in our community get the assistance they need. Thanks to their efforts and strong support from Councilman Aaron Bowman and his colleagues on City Council, we launched the Urban Rest Stop which is now open seven days a week.
The new Mobile Medical Unit—the aptly named “Health & Hope on Wheels”— is another example of that strategy of creating more entry points and increasing access to services by taking them to the populations in need. We are excited to add this “Healthmobile” as an extension of the Urban Rest Stop services.
This is the latest step in our overall strategy to end homelessness in Jacksonville, which we will continue by providing even more entry points for services; increasing collaboration between providers; and creating new programs, training and opportunities to help our most vulnerable citizens get back on their feet and on a path to self-sufficiency.
We have an amazing nonprofit community here in Jacksonville that does great work, but they can’t do it alone. They need the support of the entire community--government, businesses, faith-based organizations, and private citizens--coming together to wrap their arms around important community issues like homelessness.
Together we can have an impact, and I believe together we can end homelessness.
Again I am grateful to the Sulzbacher team; Councilman Bowman and my colleagues on City Council; members of my Task Force on Downtown Homelessness; and all partners in this collaborative effort to end homelessness in Jacksonville.