The Salvation Army is pleased to announce the grand opening of Adam’s Place, its jail diversion shelter and veterans homeless shelter for men. The facility will begin taking clients January 21 at its location at 609 N. 7th Street in Ft. Pierce.
The shelter, the first of its kind in our area, is designed to accommodate and rehabilitate homeless men who may encounter local law enforcement. Those who desire assistance will be transitioned into stable housing and employment. “Adam’s Place is going to be a place where homeless men are able to get back on their feet and become productive, contributing members of society,” explains Lt. Jeff Marquis, Corps Officer for the Salvation Army in Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee Counties. “We are working with the local sheriff’s office and police as a referral system for those individuals that they come across who maybe find themselves in situations they shouldn’t be and it’ll be a place where they can bring them to get help.”
The building, which is leased to The Salvation Army by the Ft. Pierce Housing Authority, will have rooms available for intake, case management and counseling. It will eventually have 24 beds and an overflow section of an additional 4 beds to accommodate people dropped off by police after hours.
“This is a low-barrier shelter which means we’re not requiring individuals to meet certain benchmarks prior to admission,” says Lt. Marquis. “They simply must not be a danger to themselves or others. If they meet this criteria, then they’re welcome to be admitted. At this point some individuals may need help getting IDs, while some may just need help building a resume. Others may need help finding places to stay. And still others may have gainful employment but must work together to find places they would be able to jointly afford. The process is really driven by the individual. Each case is going be different.”
The Salvation Army will be partnering with and referring to local agencies to offer treatment and job opportunities to those clients who need it. “It’s impossible for one agency to tackle this type of issue in a community so it requires all of us working together. We will lean on agencies like New Horizons for their drug and mental health rehabilitation that they have already established, and we will reach out to other agencies like CareerSource to help with job training and resume building, getting them opportunities that they are more equipped to facilitate,” says Lt. Marquis.
Priority will be given to homeless veterans seeking shelter. “We realize that many of the homeless individuals in St. Lucie County are former veterans who are going to require a different kind of case management,” says Lt. Marquis. The Salvation Army will be working closely with the Veteran’s Administration to obtain assistance available for these individuals.
Adam’s Place may also receive homeless men released from local hospitals, allowing for quicker turnover of beds normally occupied by these individuals who would otherwise be held until shelter is found for them.
Lt. Marquis emphasizes that he hopes to make Adam’s Place a joint effort. “We need partners. Business owners who are going to be willing to step out in faith and work with us to help find these men gainful employment, and landlords willing to work with us so that these men can find safe places that they can afford to rent. It’s going to be a collaborative effort to get someone back on their feet.” The Salvation Army welcomes inquiries from potential collaborators as well as local financial and in-kind support.
“It takes a lot of income to run this size of a program. We’re talking about staffing as well as things that you typically use on a daily basis - bathroom supplies, laundry detergent, things that a homeless man may or may not necessarily have with him. We want to take away as many barriers as we can so they can focus on what needs to be done. That way they don’t need to worry about where their next meal is coming from, where they’re going to sleep, and they can focus on job training.”
A dedication ceremony and ribbon-cutting for Adam’s Place is scheduled for January 17th at 10 am. The public is invited to join in the celebration. For more information, contact Lt. Marquis at 772-288-1471, ext. 204, or visit www.salvationarmyflorida.org/martincounty.