Leon County Commission Approves Funds for Hope Community

Tuesday night the Leon County Commission voted to possibly help the coalition build its new community on West Pensacola Street where the lives of thousands of homeless people will be improved.

"We already know that the need for homeless housing is reaching point critical in our community. Last year we counted 703 homeless people, so the need is there,” explains Kay Freeman of the Tallahassee Coalition for the Homeless.

The Hope Community will cost $4.2 million all told.

Tuesday night, the Leon County Commission took the first step to help the coalition get a little bit closer to that monetary goal.

"The county has just agreed to include an item for the women's dorm in the budget. The amount is for $210,000. That brings us to about 75-percent completion on that,” Freeman says.

"I think it sends a signal that everyone is on board for this,” adds Chuck Mitchell of the Tallahassee Coalition for the Homeless.

Commissioners say they are getting involved because this "Hope Community" will help the whole community, not just the homeless.

"It's a huge issue. It’s one of social concern. It’s one that's an economic cost to our community. One of the great things about this project is we'll be taking people from being tax consumers to tax payers,” Mitchell says.

The coalition says it still needs about $1 million before the community can be completed, but say with the Tallahassee community, it has a lot of hope.

The county budget still has to be approved before the coalition will get the money. The total amount approved Tuesday night is for $260,000. Some of that money will go to the existing shelter on Tennessee Street.