Community | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

New Westgate Community to Offer Long Term Housing Option for People in Need


Tallahassee, FL - A new development in Tallahassee will provide transitional or permanent housing for individuals and families in need. Local businessman, Rick Kearney is the Developer of the new Westgate Community, the Renaissance Community Center, Co-Founder of Good News Outreach and was recently awarded the 2013 Citizens Social Worker of the Year award by the Big Bend Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. According to Kearney, homelessness comes in a variety of different forms and stages. He says “you could be a transient, you could be a veteran, you could be from a lot of different categories including domestic violence. So what this is, is for the people who have been through the emergency phase of that and now their ready for transition or long term care."

According to Tallahassee City Commissioner, Andrew Gillium, the need is out there and this project is a great example of the private sector coming forward to help in what is a public need. Gillum says "right now we are overnighting over 220 people in our emergency shelter facility. If you go out and talk to the board and the staff at the hope community they will tell you they've got a waiting list a mile long." He also says "this project is going to do wonders as it relates to helping people move from an area of need to how it is they individually get on their feet."

The development will include 13 pads with about 10 bedrooms each with a dormitory style format with lots of helpful amenities. Kearney says, "there will be supervision, case management, services that will come on site, whether it's medical services or VA services or mental health services or job skills training will come here to this neighborhood." Kearney admits this development is the fulfillment of a dream to make a significant impact on homelessness. He says "it's time for change. It's time for a revolution in how homelessness is dealt with in Tallahassee and what we're doing here today is going to change the world, I can assure you."

The Westgate Community is located at 3244 Westgate Court off of Blountstown Street between West Tharpe and Tennessee Street in Tallahassee. The ground breaking ceremony for the development will be Thursday, March 28th at 11:30am.


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