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This group will host a virtual event in hopes of ending homelessness -- here’s how you can tune in and help

Homelessness is a major problem in this area. (Pexels stock image)

It’s hard for most people to imagine the uncertainty, stress, fear and fatigue that comes with not knowing where they’ll sleep at night.

With about 1,600 homeless people in Northeast Florida, there’s a lot of anxious, worried people in our own community.

Homelessness is solvable -- and the answer is housing.

Mission House is working toward that solution, but it cannot do so without community support.

The “Mission Possible: A Community Unites” virtual event airs live at 7 p.m. on WJXT-Channel 4 and will also stream on News4Jax.com, Saturday, Oct. 9. It will give viewers an understanding of the work that Mission House does daily within its rapid rehousing program. It also gives community supporters a glimpse into how they can be part of important work to end homelessness.

“The lack of affordable housing in the Jacksonville Beach area is what limits us from successfully housing more of our clients,” said Carina Saladino, executive director of Mission House. “The support of our local community is what will continue assisting the men and women we serve in regaining their independence for a full and meaningful life. Our ‘Mission Possible’ goal is to raise $200,000 through sponsorships and raffle ticket sales, which will provide housing for 20 households for one year.”

Through collaborative community efforts, several cities in the U.S. have ended chronic homelessness.

One of the keys to ending homelessness is having a system that works and does so quickly. Homeless service providers like Mission House can only house as many people as there are housing units, and the housing vacancy rate is less than 10% in Jacksonville, not accounting for the fact that most market-rate housing is outside the range of affordability for persons experiencing homelessness.

Despite these challenges, Mission House has successfully implemented its rapid rehousing program, a national best practice proven to end episodes of homelessness quickly and effectively.

“We use a progressive engagement model that provides tailored, individualized financial and case management support, rather than ‘one-size-fits-all’ interventions,” Saladino said. “Mission House assists with locating safe and affordable housing, provides financial assistance for housing costs, and ongoing case management and other services to ensure sustainability.”

“Mission Possible: A Community Unites” will feature client stories, music segments from local musicians, all of whom donated their talent for the cause, and a drawing for a Peloton, tickets to Hamilton The Musical, and other items.

Sponsorships range from $500 to $25,000 and tickets for the drawing are $50. Sponsorships and tickets are available now by clicking or tapping here.

Mission House says it’s the only day facility in Jacksonville Beach to help meet the needs of people who are homeless through compassion, faith and programs designed to provide assistance at an individual level.

Mission House’s No. 1 goal is to help people who are homeless off of the streets and back to productive, self-sufficient lives.

For more information regarding Mission House and “Mission Possible: A Community Unites”, contact Carina Saladino at 904-241-6767, ext. 114, or csaladino@missionhousejax.org or visit www.missionhousejax.org.