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Community working to provide emergency housing after Haven of Rest closure

Posted at 9:10 AM, Jun 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-20 17:04:38-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Nearly 100-120 men are facing homelessness after a local facility providing emergency and transitional housing closed their doors; now the community is working to find an alternative.

The facility, Haven of Rest, has operated for 25 years. In June 2013, they announced they were closing. This created a dilemma for both the occupants and other homeless service organizations, which are operating at maximum capacity.

Nevertheless, organizations and the community are doing their best to make a way. 

Renaissance Community Center has extended their hours to provide storage for personal belongings and showers for the displaced men.

Meals are being provided by various churches, individuals and the Texas Roadhouse Restaurant. The Big Bend Homeless Coalition and Hope Community have provided a temporary place for the men to sleep and Connections Church has provided transportation.

Though the community is doing its part, organizers are planning for better alternatives and a more permanent solution.

During the past week temporary modular housing was delivered to the new Westgate Community residential campus on Blountstown Street. While not permanent, these units will provide shelter and time for more permanent plans to be made for the men.

One alternative is the first building in the Westgate Community which was completed this week. This 10 bedroom boarding house-style structure was built by Mad Dog Construction Company and will provide housing for up to 40 individuals. Glenn Burns with Good Samaritan Network will oversee the operations.

Spearheading the Westgate housing community is Rick Kearney, CEO and founder of Mainline Information Systems. Official announcement of these and other plans will be made Wednesday, June 26 at 1 p.m. at the Westgate Community.