Helping homeless – 4 houses at a time


Weak economy or not, Historic City News has learned that good homes are being built – in fact four will be dedicated along Smith Street in West Augustine Thursday, August 6, at noon.

The dedication ceremonies will be complete with a ribbon-cutting by the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors and a picnic lunch.

The homes are part of the Transitional Housing Program of our Emergency Services and Homeless Coalition, and funded through a grant of more than $350,000 from the State Department of Children & Families Office on Homelessness.

The 800 square foot homes, each with three bedrooms and two baths, were built by Contractor John Ruggeri, and join 14 other transitional units in the Chapin/Smith Street area off Palmer Street.

Coalition Projects Coordinator Jean Harden explains the transitional program is mid-step to guiding homeless persons into permanent housing, a process that includes job training, employment, continuing education, and assessment counseling.

During the past year the Coalition has sheltered and served 28 adults and 79 children on a 24 hour basis. An average of 14 families graduate from the 2 year program and the same number move in each year.

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