The City of Jacksonville and the COVID-19 Shelter Taskforce announced the launch of an initiative that expands resources for people experiencing homelessness. The Pathway to Home Program — created through a collaboration with the City of Jacksonville, Sulzbacher, Mental Health Resource Center, Changing Homelessness, additional area homeless providers, Downtown Vision and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office — will provide individuals living in unsheltered areas with a local extended-stay hotel room and food assistance for 30 days. During this period, case managers will work with each participant to secure permanent housing through Rapid Re-housing.
“The impact of the pandemic presented unique challenges for our homeless providers, challenges that required significant changes to the way they operate,” said Mayor Lenny Curry. “The Downtown Homelessness Taskforce quickly established the COVID-19 Shelter Taskforce to minimize the impact on people experiencing homelessness by leveraging existing services and developing new programs like the Pathway to Home. I am proud of and grateful for the taskforce members’ dedication to meeting the needs of one of the city’s most vulnerable populations.”
Starting Friday, Feb. 5, multi-agency staff will visit unsheltered communities to identify needs; provide storage, luggage and transportation assistance; and register individuals for a room at one of the partnering hotels throughout the city. Hotel placements will begin Monday, Feb. 8. In addition to offering housing services, groceries and prepared meals will be delivered to participants once a week.
Those who need immediate support may speak to an outreach worker or visit the Urban Rest Stop, located at the Sulzbacher Center (611 E. Adams St. – 32202). The Urban Rest Stop is open Monday – Sunday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Residents who want to contribute should donate miscellaneous items to Trinity Rescue Mission, where employees will coordinate donation distribution with community partners. Additionally, move-in kits are available to purchase at the Changing Homelessness website, ChangingHomelessness.org.
Mayor’s Downtown Homelessness Taskforce: In 2017, Mayor Curry launched the Downtown Homelessness Taskforce to align the collective efforts of the public, private and philanthropic sectors focused on ending homelessness in our community. The Taskforce has teamed with local and regional partners for a more collaborative effort to find more permanent housing solutions and increase services for people experiencing homelessness.