JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Salvation Army of Northeast Florida launched a new program granting a safe space for expecting mothers.
In January, the non-profit opened up a “Bundle of Hope Room” in downtown Jacksonville.
“When you’re having a baby, you have all the hope in the world for the child that you’re about to bring into the world and when they’re here, so it seemed like a fitting name,” explained Tami Gonyea, Director of Social Services for the Salvation Army in Northeast Florida.
The space is meant to provide a safe haven for up to two pregnant women at any one time. The room is furnished to help make pregnant moms as comfortable as possible leading up to the birth of their child.
The room is dedicated to two generous donors, David Baker and William Reid. Reid was born in a Salvation Army Home in Kansas City.
“We’ve had a few inquiries over the phone, even prior to this idea coming to light, that indicated there was a need for something like this,” said Gonyea. “We were approached by the donors and we were like yes, absolutely.”
Gonyea said the program will also help expecting mothers find a permanent place to live and connect them with a variety of other services if needed, including food assistance programs and mental health counseling.
“I think this could make a tremendous difference,” said Gonyea. “When someone is homeless and on the street, they have minimal access to services other than through social services agencies which means they have to go through that social service agency but they may not know where they can go to say, apply for food stamps or find out what OB might take their Medicaid and those are all things we can help with.”
It’s located in one of the Red Shield Lodge rooms at the Towers Center of Hope.
Any person in need of shelter can call (904) 358-2411 to complete a phone screening and intake or schedule an in-person screening and intake at a location convenient to them. A person in need may also go in person to 611 E Adams St., Jacksonville Monday-Friday 7:30AM-3:00PM to complete an in-person intake without an appointment for Coordinated Entry.
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