TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Helping people experiencing homelessness, get better access to basic needs is the goal of the Kearney Center in Tallahassee. They're expanding their day services program to reach more adults in need to improve their quality of life.
"The goal is just to help literally as many people that come in the door," said Vicki Butler, the Director of Operations at the Kearney Center. Butler said she's eager to help serve the community in need by kickstarting the day service programs that can get someone a hot meal, clean clothes, and a shower, but that's not all.
"Ability First, Apalachee, Help Florida, Legal Aide, Disc Village, the VA, and that's just to name a few," said Butler. She's talking about the many local agencies they're teaming up with to bring a one stop shop approach to people who need wrap around services in Leon County. They'll be able to provide services in mental health, disability needs, legal guidance, and help finding a job.
"You're doing this by yourself you don't know where to even begin," said John Hershey, the Managing Director of CareerSource Capital Region, one of the Kearney Center's partners. Hershey said they'll send one of their experts to the Kearney Center to break down barriers for people looking for work. They help them get access to substance abuse programs, mental health experts, and transportation.
"How do I do this, how do I apply for jobs," posited Hershey. From there, they show them how to create a resume and get them the right clothing for an interview.
"Gets them motivated when they know they've got good resources and people they can ask those questions to," said Hershey. They can also help people get schooling and certifications, connecting them to in demand jobs which has the added bonus of boosting the local economy.
"We've got jobs in manufacturing, we've got jobs in health care, we've got jobs in retail, we've got different opportunities available so they can kind of create their own career pathway," added Hershey.
Day services haven't been up and running at the Kearney Center since the pandemic. Something Butler is excited to start again to serve more. "Each one of these services will help either financially, legally, or prevent them from losing their housing or help them gain housing," said Butler.
Day service programs will be happening Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You do not have to live at the center to get access, it's open to everyone 18 years and older. The Kearney Center is always looking for donations from the community to make this all possible.