Family Promise of the Big Bend welcomes new CEO, plans shelter renovations

Posted at 12:33 PM, Jul 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-14 12:33:02-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — After more than two decades of deferred maintenance, renovation expert Todd Sperry says the Hope Community Shelter "needs a general loving."

Funded by a $2.9 million state grant, Sperry's team is tasked with updating the interior and exterior of the five buildings on the Hope campus.

After surveying the grounds, he list several needed repairs, saying "They need new roofs, the exteriors, I need windows fixed ... the inside, there's you know doors to replace, we need to have ceilings, floors replaced, painting all the walls, get the plumbing working well in the bathrooms."

In addition to structural upgrades, there are also plans for added security. "Cameras around the campus," Sperry says, noting "we want to have the perimeter more secure ... we need a lot more exterior lighting, as far as pool lightings, walkway lightings."

Newly appointed Family Promise of the Big Bend CEO Nick Maddox say the building upgrades are the first step towards providing more comprehensive care for those in need.

"My vision is that when people come into the Hope community, people come into our veteran sites, that they will feel like they're not just just placed into a place where they're being a service by case workers, but feel like we're helping them grow." He emphasized the need for wrap-around services like counseling to help stabilize and heal incoming residents so that "when they matriculate their way out ... and get to permanent housing, that they're whole."

With several families routinely in care, at the Hope Community Shelter, chief operating officer Tamika Fields says she and their families look forward to seeing more welcoming facilities.

"We have had those have individuals and families that have came here and expressed what great appreciation that they have for Family Promise for providing that shelter and giving them a place to stay temporarily, and not having to be on the street living in the woods or living in their cars, so we try to make it as homey as possible they're here."

Sperry says they plan to begin renovations in the fall.

There will be a three-week period of outdoor dining as they upgrade the kitchen and eating areas, and the project is expected to be completed in May or June of next year.