Fewer homeless men are on the streets of St. Lucie County this summer thanks to The Salvation Army’s Adam’s Place, a 24-bed shelter on North Seventh Street in Fort Pierce.
Developed in collaboration with local law enforcement and the Veterans Administration, the shelter aims to reduce the number of men incarcerated for simply being homeless and, instead, offer them resources to get back on their feet. The shelter, which celebrated its six-month anniversary, has already assisted 32 men.
Adam’s Place offers free, temporary shelter and meals along with wrap-around case management and referrals to collaborating agencies.
“Because of the nature of generational poverty, it’s going to take a lot of work from a lot of different people,” said Lt. Jeff Marquis, Corps Officer for The Salvation Army. “This program seeks to remove as many obstacles as possible to allow these men to focus on what’s important, to not have to stress over where they’re going to sleep each night and get back to a standard of living that they lost sight of after many years of living on the streets and other places.”
The shelter is seeing some success and residents are showing gratitude.
Eric, an Army veteran, was homeless and living in his car until a referral from the Veteran’s Administration brought him to Adam’s Place.
“My car was really hot,” he said. “(Adam’s Place) is a respite on the Treasure Coast. It’s cool, it’s clean and there are beds for individuals.”
“I made a lot of mistakes. That part of my life is over," said Travis, referring to a recent stint in prison. An aspiring actor and singer, he has found two part-time jobs and even a few auditions. He is confident he will be moving into his own place soon. “Only way you’ll fail here is if you don’t apply yourself. They give you everything you need.”
Another resident, Gregg, has been homeless on and off for years with a drug addiction. Now clean for over a year, he recently entered the shelter to gain stability. He’s excited to start college.
“I’m grateful that it’s here, absolutely,” he said, adding that without Adam’s Place, he would still be homeless. “I would be somewhere desperate on the street or in jail for stealing something to eat. I’d be in trouble, I’m sure. I’d be struggling.”
The shelter, which is operating as a men's jail-diversion/prevention and veterans-intervention homeless facility, is funded by private donors on land donated by the Fort Pierce Housing Authority.
For more information about Adam’s Place and how you can help, call 772-448-8082 or visit salvationarmyflorida.org/martincounty.