$7 million Homeless Center Will Help Battle Homelessness in Tallahassee

Tallahassee’s new $7 million Comprehensive Emergency Services Center was designed to better serve the diverse needs of the region’s homeless population.

This new 36,000-square-foot building sits on the corner of West Pensacola and Dupree Street. Tallahassee’s new homeless facility is planned to have its grand opening April 2, 2015.

Chuck White, The Renaissance Community Center director and lead project planner, said, “The center was originally scheduled to open Christmas day but was delayed due to severe rains, incomplete design work and additional upgrades to the facility,” White said.

The mission for this center is to treat and transition people out of homelessness.

“This new center will not only house the homeless in our community, it will also create a space for multiple agencies to deliver services to this at-risk population, working to help them find keys to their own home,” said Jacob Reiter, Tallahassee’s Leon Shelter director.

The Comprehensive Emergency Services Center will be a 24-hour facility that will house and help both men and women. The center will comfortably sleep 390 people, and will also host an infirmary.

Rich English, the CEO of America's Second Harvest of the Big Bend, said in addition to having enough beds to house a significant amount of Leon County’s homeless population, they also plan on feeding more of the at-risk population.

“The Second Harvest provided 11,000 pounds of food annually to the Shelter, but I expect it will take more than 400,000 pounds to accommodate the demands of the larger facility. With the combined contributions from Second Harvest and other sources I believe we can achieve this goal,” English said.

Food will be provided by a host of agencies and restaurants throughout Leon County, including Publix, Kool Beanz Cafe and chefs from local culinary schools.

Tallahassee’s new Comprehensive Emergency Services Center is aiming to actually reduce homelessness in the area. Their full range of targeted services will include short-term housing, counseling and related programs to help our neighbors find stable homes and become productive citizens again.