JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Clara White Mission said it needs nearly $425,000 in funding by Aug. 30 to avoid cutting services from five days a week to three. The center has already reduced service to homeless and low-income people from seven days to five due to a funding shortage.
The mission estimates it could serve roughly 125,000 meals in the next year but right now, its budget can support just over half of that.
"I am very worried. I am devastated. I’m very concerned," said its president, Ju'Coby Pittman, who is also a member of the Jacksonville City Council. "What I can say is, I have my team behind me and, if somebody is out there watching that has the resources (can) help the Clara White Mission," Our community has always been good to us."
In a recent tweet, the downtown mission that has helped people for 115 years said grants are coming in but at drastically reduced levels. The mission said the demand for services is going up, but it doesn’t have the funding to support it.
We will discuss cuts #ClaraWhiteMission is facing. We will have to reduce program services to keep doors open. Grant awards are still coming in, but the levels have been drastically been reduced. We need your help. We will release more details Tues. at 10 a.m. #IAmEarthaWhite pic.twitter.com/Sr9gcwpdFD— Clara White Mission (@ClaraWhiteJax) June 28, 2019
The mission, located on West Ashley Street, provides services to thousands of homeless and low-income people every week. According to the mission, it serves 400 meals daily and houses more than 30 homeless veterans each month.
Due to the growing demand for services and significant funding cuts, the mission said it’s already reduced its services to five days a week.
The Clara White Mission is issuing a call-to-action campaign asking for donations. You can give money or supplies. Visit Give to Clara and Save Lives to help.