New Westgate Community Offers Solutions to Homelessness, Lack of Affordable Housing

Media Advisory:
March 26, 2013

Contact:
Nicole Stookey
Northwest Region Communications Director
(850) 509-2675

New Westgate Community Offers Solutions to Homelessness, Lack of Affordable Housing
Partners, community leaders commemorate new campus with groundbreaking ceremony

TALLAHASSEE— With more than 54,000 homeless statewide, including more than 1,000 reported by the Big Bend Homeless Coalition in January 2013 in Tallahassee, an increasing number of individuals are seeking emergency shelter services from community-based, community-supported homeless shelters. Homeless shelters provide essential services to individuals and families in times of critical need but are not a long-term solution to homelessness.

On Thursday, March 28, Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins will join Rick Kearney, President of Mainline Information Systems, and numerous local social services and non-profit agencies to unveil a solution to address shelter overcrowding and the high cost of emergency services, and to provide a flexible path to independence for the homeless and low-income individuals and families in our community.

Partners will break ground Thursday on the Westgate Community residential campus, an outgrowth of the Renaissance Community Center, which opened in April 2012 to address the number of homeless residing in local emergency shelters by providing tools and resources to help people return to independence.

The Westgate Community residential campus will address the critical need for low-cost, safe and secure housing for our residents who are most vulnerable and in need. When complete, the campus will house between 180-300 residents in 13 residential units with flexible floor plans. The affordable housing will be made available throughout our community to individuals or families as transitional or permanent housing.

WHAT:
Westgate Community Residential Campus Press Conference and Groundbreaking Ceremony

WHO:
Department of Children and Families; Mainline Information Systems; Mayor John Marks; The Tallahassee-Leon County Emergency Shelter Board; United Way of the Big Bend; ECHO Outreach Ministries; Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida; Lutheran Social Services; Fostering Achievement Fellowship Program at Tallahassee Community College; Elder Care Services; Goodwill Industries, Inc.; Good Samaritan Network; FSU School of Medicine; Mad Dog Construction; Apalachee Center; Veterans Village; Ability First; Big Bend Homeless Coalition; local elected officials; community, business and non-profit leaders and more

WHEN:
Thursday, March 28, 11:30 a.m.

WHERE:
Site of Westgate Community residential campus
Blountstown St. between W. Tharpe St. and Tennessee St.
Tallahassee

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