According to the National Alliance To End Homelessness, the Jacksonville area is home to nearly 2,800 homeless persons, 13% of which experience chronic homelessness, defined as long-term or repeated homelessness often coupled with a disability. The streets of Downtown Jacksonville are estimated to be home to more than 400 homeless persons.
Yesterday marked the opening ceremony for the Jacksonville Day Resource Center, which has been nearly 10 years in the making. Mayor Alvin Brown was joined by members of the Day Resource Center partners at a ribbon cutting ceremony at the City Rescue Mission on State Street, which is hosting this new center.
The Day Resource Center will begin as a one-year pilot project that will serve as a safe, hospitable place that will enable social service providers to connect with members of the homeless population who have been reluctant to seek services provided in shelters. In addition to providing a single point of contact for services, the center will also provide showers, laundry facilities, computer and phone access, as well as lunch service. The Resource Center will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays beginning later this month.
The Day Resource Center is an example of collaboration at its best. Funding for this project was provided by the City of Jacksonville and Wells Fargo. In addition, ACON Construction and VRL Architects provided substantial in-kind donations of labor and materials that enabled this project to come to fruition. Other partners included the Emergency Services and Homeless Coalition, Sulzbacher Center, Salvation Army, Clara White Mission, River Region Human Services, Mental Health Resource Center, Trinity Rescue Mission, the Veterans Administration and ICARE.
Downtown Vision, Inc. applauds the efforts of this coalition and looks forward to supporting the Day Resource Center in its mission.