WUFT News

Gainesville makes new plans for homeless center

By on November 2nd, 2012

Ryan Lacher / WUFT

Gainesville City commissioners are eyeing the site of the former Gainesville Correctional Institute for a new center for the homeless.

The Gainesville City Commission now has the state’s permission to buy the abandoned Gainesville Correctional Institute property on Northeast 39th Avenue, where creation of a homeless center is being planned.

Current plans for a center off Northwest 53rd Avenue have been stalled by legal challenges and construction delays.

The commission decided to continue those efforts while also looking into this site, which city commissioner Todd Chase said will provide the homeless with opportunities to improve their situation.

In preparation, City Manager Rus Blackburn had the property appraised, Chase said.

“By doing that, what we said was basically that we are interested in acquiring that property and using it as both the one-stop homeless center location as well as potentially a myriad of services and activities that we will be working with the community to define,” Chase said.

But the deal isn’t near finalized.

The Florida Forestry Service and the Florida National Guard have also expressed interest in the property.

If the city can acquire the property, Chase said plans for the site would require little government oversight.

“I think the property – if we’re able to get this thing – provides an opportunity really for the private sector and the nonprofit sector and the volunteers to work together and kind of remove government from really having to manage and operate too much,” he said “I think it gives us a place to build a really special facility.”

The proposed facility would include a shelter, soup kitchen, job training site and other social services. Much of the site’s existing infrastructure could easily be used for those venues, Chase said.

Details of the plan, like the property appraisal and negotiations with the state, will be finalized at a later date.

Kelly Price edited this story online.


This entry was posted in Florida and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Florida

Tis the Season to Give, But Floridians Are Largely Scrooges With Their Time

While volunteerism rates in Florida may still be ranked relatively low, people like Bill and Verna Brown try to change that by gathering food and help by giving it out to the rural areas in North Central Florida.


Program Gives Foster Youths Chance For More Normal Life

A recent pilot program is making it easier for young people in foster care to earn a driver’s license and insurance for them to achieve a more normal life.


Police Identify Shooter as FSU Alumnus

The gunman who shot three people at Florida State University’s library early Thursday before being killed by police was a lawyer who graduated from the school, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.


Undated arrest photo of Chadwick Banks.

Chadwick Banks Executed By Lethal Injection For Double-Murder

Chadwick Banks became the 20th person executed under Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday. The 43-year-old was put to death after being convicted in the 1992 slaying of his wife, Cassandra Banks, as well as the rape and murder of his 10-year-old stepdaughter, Melody Cooper. Eighty-nine people have been put to death in Florida since executions resumed in the state in 1979.


Pastor Zach Zehnder of theCross Church in Mount Dora speaks to the crowd in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for world’s longest speech marathon. Zehnder ultimately spoke for more than 53 hours.

Mount Dora Pastor Attempts To Break Guinness World Record For Longest Speech

A Mount Dora pastor may have broken the Guinness World Record for the Longest Speech Marathon. The speech, which lasted over 53 hours, was used to raise money for a local cause.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments