Task Force members are reviewing existing conditions, analyzing where service and systems can be improved, exploring best practices, and making specific recommendations for improvement to service providers. This will produce a comprehensive approach to address homelessness and poverty in our Community.
The working concept of the Bay Area Resource Center suggests that it will function from one newly constructed building and will contain sleeping facilities, laundry and kitchen facilities, meeting space and classrooms for training.
The Resource Center will also permanently house a wellness clinic, emergency diagnostic services and dental care.
The new building will have multiple functions as the Resource Center begins its tenure, with the probability of future growth with additional services, particularly a continuum of housing and employment training services, in other facilities on its large campus.
The Resource Center may provide office space for existing nonprofit service providers who offer social services of all types. By providing this “one stop shop”, the needs of the target population can be met more efficiently.
Before the Center opens its doors, service providers will meet to identify gaps in service and to develop a comprehensive triage and case management service.
The need for individual transportation across the County will be reduced and access to the specific service components necessary for each participant’s success will be substantially enhanced.
A coordinated volunteer program to support the service organizations and to assist program participants will be based at the Resource Center. Volunteers for multiple programs can be trained on site and then placed as appropriate.
Due to economic conditions nationwide, the number of unemployed persons and the number of homeless persons has been steadily increasing in recent years.
The State of Florida has approximately 1/3 of all the homeless persons in the United States.
Military veterans comprise 1/4 of the homeless population nationwide and the percentage is higher across the Gulf Coast.
There are a large number of unemployed and homeless persons per capita in our area at this time, as they came here believing that jobs were available related to hurricane damage and the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
This school year, there are more than 1,000 children in Bay County that meet the federal definition of “homeless.”
It costs 2 to 3 times more to hospitalize or incarcerate persons in need, than it does to provide them with shelter and supportive services to assist them in becoming contributing members of society again.