While ‘bridge’ shelter just opened, city is hurrying to find solutions before it closes
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The temporary shelter that opened for people moved from a homeless camp along Union Street on Monday will be open for 27 more days. The Temporary Bridge Shelter, being managed by Changing Homelessness and the City Rescue Mission, was donated by Jacksonville real estate company JWB. The city said its goal is to bring an “end to homelessness,” but there is concern a new homeless camp could spring up when this facility closes early next month. While the Temporary Bridge Shelter is open for a total of 30 days, there have already been individuals that have been placed in a variety of housing solutions that meet their particular needs. Despite the homeless camp that grew downtown early this year, the Jacksonville officials say homelessness has been decreasing in city.
87 of 150 people moved from Jacksonville homeless camp stayed in city’s temporary shelter
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It appears a majority of the people experiencing homelessness in downtown Jacksonville are accounted for after city workers shut down a large homeless camp near Union and Jefferson Street. In addition to providing basic needs, City Rescue Mission case managers are supposed to work with people at the shelter to help them come up with personalized plans to get back on their feet. However, a volunteer at City Rescue Mission told News4Jax that only 15 residents were in the temporary shelter before curfew at 10 pm. Some community advocates bashed the city’s plan from the beginning, calling the camp shutdown a band-aid solution that did not address the root issue. Daryus Sando, who called the tent city home for two months, said seeing the city crews made the deadline suddenly very real.
City crews clear homeless camp from Downtown Jacksonville property
Within hours of city crews arriving with a truck that scooped claw-fulls of items into a dumpster bed, hundreds of remaining tents had dwindled to just over a dozen in a makeshift homeless camp in Downtown Jacksonville. Daryus Sando, who called the tent city home for two months, said seeing the city crews made the deadline suddenly very real. The shelter was 0.3 miles from the “tent city” area, about a 6-minute walk. Ashley Street shelter for those who were living in tent city. Paul Stasi with CRM described the shelter like a temporary disaster shelter the city would set up for a situation like a hurricane.
Final night of tent city before Jacksonville moves homeless into nearby shelter
The fences are up surrounding a tent city on Union Street downtown that had grown from 10 people to about 200 in the last three months. On Tuesday, the city of Jacksonville plans to move the homeless living in the camp into a nearby, indoor shelter for the next 30 days. “It grieves me that I have an open bed and someone is living in the tent,” said Paul Stasi of the City Rescue Mission. As the people move, the city and its partners will also offer them social services, the kind of help that Bass says he needs to recover. Not everyone wants to move, but those who care for the homeless say living outdoors like this isn’t safe.
Jacksonville takes first step to move city’s homeless into hotels
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Friday morning in an open field just west of downtown, dozens of Jacksonville’s homeless took what could be the first step in finding a permanent home. In addition to housing, the program also pays for food, and even mental health help. A Jacksonville spokeswoman told News4Jax the first 53 participants will be taken to extended-stay hotels, where rapid rehousing specialists will help them find a permanent home, a job and even mental health help. The first people selected will be moved into their hotels starting Monday. “It shows that people do care and we are a city that’s attempting to show that we care about everybody equally.
Against all odds: Jacksonville homeless student to graduate as valedictorian, attend college
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If anyone knows what it’s like to overcome, it’s A. Philip Randolph Career Academies senior Martin Folsom. Despite being homeless and having spent time living in shelters with his mother, Folsom served as class president his freshman through senior year, and is is set to graduate at the top of his class as valedictorian. “It’s been a rocky road, a lot of hardships," Folsom said. Martin and his class will be recognized on Channel 4 during the June 6 edition of Brightest and Best. Watch below to learn more about what has kept him motivated in the midst of challenging times.
Police officer shares pizza with homeless woman during lunch break
The woman’s shirt read “Homeless: The fastest way of becoming a nobody.”That was the message that inspired a touching photo in North Carolina Wednesday. Officer Michael Rivers of the Goldsboro Police Department shared a moment of compassion with a person in need. He was on his lunch break when he came upon a homeless woman he hadn’t seen before in the community. Rivers told CNN, "God put it on my heart to get her lunch." He got pizzas at a nearby restaurant, and for 45 minutes he ate and talked with the woman who said her name was Michelle.
Local high school student customizes, donates shoes to homeless
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A local teen is spreading love throughout Duval by customizing and donating shoes to the homeless community in downtown Jacksonville. Julien Gasca, 16, has a goal to raise awareness about homelessness in our city and inspire more people to give. “I know people in need feel like they are struggling and there’s no hope. The First Coast High School student plans to continue these acts of kindness for years to come. Click here to visit his YouTube channel.