Today, shelter directors cut the ribbon to the new Comprehensive Emergency services center homeless shelter located on Pensacola Street. This larger facility will provide more space for those in need.
Big Bend Homeless coalition, The City of Tallahassee, The Renaissance Center, The Shelter and others have partnered to create the facility.
The shelter was once located on Tennessee Street near the Renaissance Community Center. The facility will be relocating to its new address at 2650 Municipal Way (by the Goodwill on Pensacola St.).
Shelter director Jacob Reiter describes what services the new center will offer and sheds light on why the center relocated.
"We will be providing comprehensive emergency services which include: emergency shelter, food(three meals a day), showers, hygiene products, and storage capacities," Reiter said. "Our former facility isn't able to meet the need any longer, we have over 200 people staying with us nightly… We have had people sleeping in hallways because we run out of beds."
Te-Sharie Spaulding, a FAMU senior social work student from Miami, Fla., is a volunteer at the center.
Spaulding elaborated on her experiences with the shelter and what the shelter means to the homeless in the community.
"I have been volunteering at the shelter for eight months now.. It's fun, interesting, busy, and experimental I get to interact with persons of different cultures and backgrounds," Spaulding said. "The affect this center has on the community is that it gets community resources together very well, decreases the population of persons sleeping in the street, and helps to maintain stability among those in need within the community."
According to the 2015 census, Tallahassee has about 700 homeless people the opening of the center will help alleviate this problem.
James Glover, a former Army Veteran, is a homeless citizen who lives at the current shelter. Glover is grateful for the services that the shelter provides, and is excited to move to the new shelter.
"I am very grateful for the services that the shelter offers because if it wasn't for them, I would be on the streets," Glover said. "I can't wait to move into the new facility because everything will be brand new."
The center will officially begin accepting residents on April 20th. If you are interested in contributing to this cause contact the shelter at 850-224-9055 to inquire about volunteering opportunities.