Newsroom

Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Rick Scott
Governor

David E. Wilkins
Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Nicole Stookey
Northwest Region Communications Director
(850) 509-2675
BUSINESS, COMMUNITY LEADERS JOIN TO BATTLE HOMELESSNESS WITH
NEW RENAISSANCE COMMUNITY CENTER
~ More than 40 businesses helped build one-stop center to assist Tallahassee's homeless ~

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – More than 100 business owners, community leaders, lawmakers and faith-based partners celebrated the historic opening of the Renaissance Community Center in a commemorative ribbon-cutting ceremony and building dedication today.

Rick Kearney poses with Renaissance Community Center partners before the ceremonial ribbon cutting.
Rick Kearney poses with Renaissance Community Center
partners before the ceremonial ribbon cutting.

The one-stop center to help homeless individuals and families return to independence and self-sufficiency highlights the mission of the Department's "Partners for Promise" program, which focuses support of local businesses and volunteers on critical community needs.

"Homelessness is a 24 hour problem, and during the day, homeless individuals need resources, a place to go to and someone to assist them, give them a ‘hand up’ to resolve whatever it is that created their homeless situation - could be mental health issues, physical ailment, or job issues," said Rick Kearney, CEO and President of Mainline Information Systems. "That's what this Center is for. People who ask for help will have a place to come to get that help."

Construction for the Renaissance Community Center began in early September. More than 40 private organizations, businesses and foundations contributed to the construction and development of this $1.2 million project. Mad Dog Construction, Moore Bass Engineering, DodStone Architects and many others provided in-kind professional services and donated work, supplies and materials. Rick Kearney led the project and provided much of the funding through Mainline's charitable arm, the Beatitude Foundation.

"This Center came to be through a modern-day miracle thanks to the more than 40 business partners that constructed it and to the many operational partners who will provide services to those that need help," Kearney said.

DCF Northwest Regional Director Vicki Abrams applauded the community for coming together to fill a critical need for the area's homeless.

Rick Kearney accepts certificate from Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce.
Rick Kearney accepts certificate
from Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce.

“This is a major accomplishment for Tallahassee. Community empowerment engages government, businesses, individuals and the broader community to develop solutions for community problems,” Abrams said. "This is the prime example of our ‘Partners for Promise' initiative."

"Partners for Promise" encourages Florida businesses, of all sizes, to share their time, talent and resources to help families in need. The program has already brought more than 1,000 Florida businesses together to share their support for needs in their communities. To learn more or to become involved, please visit www.flpartnersforpromise.com.

Located in Tallahassee’s historic Frenchtown community, the Renaissance Community Center will open its doors on April 16. The Center will be a one-stop shop for homeless individuals and families to easily access resources during the day. Local human service providers will help address longer-term needs through an array of services such as housing, employment assistance, medical concerns and counseling. The Center will also be open for numerous community outreach activities during evening and weekend hours. Facility management and coordination of client services will be administered jointly by ECHO and Catholic Charities.

"To bring this project from just a concept to reality, we needed and enthusiastically received assistance from so many different segments of our community," said Marta Arrington, Executive Director of ECHO. "It will take many, many community volunteers to keep this center functioning."

The Renaissance Community Center will host a Community Day and Open House on April 14 from 10:00 a.m - 2:00 p.m. The event is open to the public. Individuals wishing to volunteer at the Center are asked to attend or to contact ECHO or Catholic Charities for more information.

Eddie Kring with Big Bend Homeless Coalition and Kescia Pride with ECHO are signing up to volunteer at the Renaissance Center.
Eddie Kring with Big Bend Homeless
Coalition and Kescia Pride with ECHO
are signing up to volunteer at the
Renaissance Center.
(L to R): Rick Kearney, Vicki Abrams, and Marta Arrington
(L to R): Rick Kearney, Vicki Abrams,
and Marta Arrington

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