WUFT News

A Tour of Gainesville’s Prison-Turned-Homeless Shelter

By on June 25th, 2013

A Florida Department of Corrections liaison tried about a dozen keys before he found the right one that would open the door to the main courtyard at the shuttered prison in the 2800 block of NE 39th Avenue.

Unlike the old prisons in movies, this one is rather different. Replacing big stone walls are chain linked fences. No barbed wire. The area surrounding the facility are woods about a mile down the road from the Gainesville Regional Airport.

This prison is in the backyard of a small correctional institute. This is where the city of Gainesville’s Commissioners plan to turn a shambled former prison into a functioning homeless community.

Joe Jackson, an advocate for the homeless and professor at the University of Florida’s Law School, said it’s ironic the city is turning an old prison into a homeless facility and he hopes they take the bars off the doors before people live there.

“Gainesville is so spread out it would be nice to have someone with everything all in one,” he said.

The corrections liaison said many homeless people live in the woods around the prison already.

But he also said if many of them move next door to the correctional institution, there could be conflict between the homeless and those at their institute competing for jobs. Like the homeless, most people who attend the correctional institute only have bikes or ride the bus as their source of transportation. Gainesville Mayor Ed Braddy said it hasn’t been a concern yet.

Braddy explains more about the project’s future below.


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • dannyspeagle

    I am a homeless American who lives in the woods near the facility. I have been homeless for 6 weeks and 1 day (since June 8, 2014).

    Being homeless is a terrifying experience exacerbated by the lack of immediate support WE ALL HOPED would be available.

    I would like to share some needs I and others are currently having…

    Immediate Needs of EVERY person:
    1. Laundry soap
    2. Towel / Washcloth / Bar soap
    3. 5-gallon bucket (for washing clothes and bathing out of)
    4. Rope to use for clothes line
    5. Canned fruit and vegetables to tie us over for the day (no means of cooking)
    6. Drinking Water
    7. Bug repellant and Ant Killer (you should see my arms, legs and feet)
    8. First-Aid supplies (Peroxide, Bandages, Tape, Neosporin)

    Immediate Needs of a FEW persons:
    1. Tent / Tarp / Sleeping bag / Pillow
    2. OUTDOOR SHOES.

    Personal Note: As a person who was fortunate enough to receive a great education, I am surprised at the lack of support made available for those of us who are employable.

    Please help us.
    Danny Speagle

    • liah

      As far as I know st. Francis house gives free lunch every day and free showers and job opportunities.

 

More Stories in Local

IMG_8377

Chicken House Fire Kills 24,000 Chicks

Chickens die in a chicken house fire at Saavedra Farms on Wednesday night.


featured

Gainesville Family First To Win The Michelle Park Family Recreation Scholarship

The Garrity family is the first family to receive the Michelle Park Family Recreation Scholarship from the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department. The scholarship is valued at $1,500 and was created for families to engage in recreational and cultural activities for free.


Gabrielle Steinberg, 22 months old, digs in the soil and pots a baby plant. The activity was part of the Kids Area crafting section of the festival.

Kanapaha Spring Garden Festival Flourishes Over the Weekend

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens hosted the 24th annual Spring Garden Festival over the weekend. The festival flourished with thousands of attendees including, families, horticulturalists and garden appreciators who enjoyed the first days of the spring at the garden.


IMG_0565

Bryant House To Become Historic Resource Center

The Historic Ocala Preservation Society purchased the 120-year-old Bryant House in August 2013 with the goal of turning it into a resource center for historic research. After restoring the exterior and first floor of the Bryant House, the society is taking steps to transform the front parlor and hope to have the room open by summer.


The new location of Alachua County Fire Station #25 is now in a community in hopes that they can respond to calls quicker. The Hawthorne station is three miles west of its old location, said Bill Northcutt, Alachua County fire rescue chief.

Hawthorne Community Welcomes Fire Station’s Return

Hawthorne residents say they once again feel part of a community with the reopening of Alachua County Fire Rescue Station #25. After closing in 2009 for economic reasons, the redesigned station will bring security and potentially lower insurance rates to the surrounding area.


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
Underwriting Payments