In January 2019, Adam’s Place, a jail diversion shelter that will house homeless men (including homeless veterans) will be dedicated in Fort Pierce, Florida, the culmination of more than three and half years of tireless effort by many dedicated staff and supporters.
The concept was first proposed by representatives of the three law enforcement agencies in Saint Lucie County (Fort Pierce and Port Saint Lucie Police Departments and the Saint Lucie Sheriff’s Department) as a way of diverting homeless men arrested on misdemeanor charges away from jail and into a less costly placement where they could receive services and support to help break the cycle of chronic homelessness. The Salvation Army was asked to lead this effort based on a long history of success in providing effective shelter services.
Bill and Estelle Turney, Pennsylvania entrepreneurs, provided $250,000 in funding to kickstart the initiative in honor of the substance recovery of their son Adam. Additional funding has been provided by The Egan Foundation, the National Catholic Foundation, The Rockwell Foundation and T. L. Williams funds through The Salvation Army.
The Fort Pierce Housing Authority provided a 28-bed facility to house the program which has received pledges of support from New Horizons, the local community mental health and substance abuse recovery provider, the Fort Pierce City Council, and many other community partners.
Critical to the success of the project has been the current leadership of Lieutenants Jeff and Sheena Marquis, appointed to serve as Administrators for The Salvation Army’s work in Martin, St. Lucie, and Okeechobee Counties in June 2018. They immediately took leadership for getting the program, in its final stages at the time, off the ground. In addition, they have created relationships in the community to ensure the program’s long-term success.
Equally important to the success of this initiative thus far has been the relentless dedication and fundraising efforts of The Salvation Army’s staff, including Clyde Preston, Regional Resource Development Director, and Dr. Donald Dixon, Director of Social Services for The Salvation Army Florida Division. Together, they visited every member of three governmental agencies, countless community providers and stakeholders, local church leaders, and the leadership of the local Continuum of Care. They have also met with the local homeless coalition and CareerSource, and the success of this initiative is a testament to their dedication and passion for serving others.