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Big Bend Coalition re-opens New Hope Shelter

Posted at 6:23 PM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 18:54:00-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Many families were displaced during the pandemic and shelters found it difficult to remain at capacity while socially distanced.

While flooring is still under construction, Jacob Fryar is one of many that worked on getting a home ready for families but he’s the only one that lived here a few years ago.

“This was a men's dorm originally. I was on the east side of the building," said Fryar. "I slept on bunk 39. And I just remember I didn't know where else to go I was just grateful to have somewhere to sleep every night.”

Fryar used the hope shelter to get himself on his feet, but told ABC 27 that God brought him back here to perform what he calls a labor of love.

“My boss was showing me around and she says this is one of the places that you'll probably spend most of your time at and I just smiled and I told her I said I used to live here and so being here you know it was just amazing to me how it happened.”

Fryar spent the last year fixing the building and understands what it feels like to be hopeless.

“Anytime I have a bad day I just go sit on that bunk and I remember that what I'm doing now is everything that I was praying for when I was sleeping on that bed," said Fryar.

The mission of the Big Bend Coalition is to help families and CEO Holly Bernardo said this is a temporary home to help families find their own.

“Everything about here is supporting your next step and helping you put together the next pieces you need to be successful," said Bernardo.

A ribbon-cutting will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. and six new families will be moving into their new home.

The Hope shelter will have washer-dryer units, child assessments and fun activities for parents and children.