New Site In Sight For Homeless Shelter

By: Lanetra Bennett
September 20, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - Tallahassee's homeless shelter could be moving to a new location where a new state-of-the-art facility would be built.

Shelter administrators say it would be double the size to better serve the homeless.

Lynn Schmidt lives at the homeless shelter in Tallahassee. She supports the move to a new location. She says, "I think it's a very good idea. I know that they'll be housing, jobs, and other things for us. We don't have to live on the streets no more and I am so glad for that."

The Shelter executive director, Jacob Reiter, says the plan is to move from West Tennessee Street to this property on West Pensacola Street between Goodwill and the Big Bend Homeless Coalition.

Reiter says the new facility would provide 24-hour comprehensive emergency services for the homeless, essential needs, case management, and job search services.

He says it's needed because of overcrowding.

Reiter says, "Currently, we have people who sleep on the floors because we have lack of space. So, the new center would absolutely address that need. We want to help them move into independent housing."

Reiter says the 30,000 square-foot facility would be almost twice the size of the current shelter.

However, some people who live at the shelter, like Michelle Howard, are worried it wouldn't be as convenient.

Referencing the current location, Howard says, "This location is near a store. Then we have Popeye's right across the road. The bus terminal is down the road. Just let it stay where it is."

The land for the proposed site is owned by the City of Tallahassee. Reiter says they're working on the acquisition details.

He says, if the plan goes through, they could break ground on the new shelter by the beginning of next year, and open by the end of the year.

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