We continue to expand our supportive housing in order to address the escalating affordable housing crisis and its impact on the lowest-income households. Our Burckle Place III project, a transitional housing facility in Lake Worth for up to 21 women, is moving forward. Construction is set to commence by the end of the year. We expect to open the facility by the end of 2023.
We recently celebrated the opening of C-Place, a new 25-bed transitional housing facility in West Palm Beach for adults experiencing homelessness, severe and persistent mental illness, criminal justice involvement, and other barriers to stability. C-Place is a unique partnership between our agency, a private landlord who purchased and leased the apartment complex to us, and Southeast Florida Behavioral Health Network, which entered into a two-year contract with us to house and serve clients.
Lastly, we partnered with Congresswoman Lois Frankel to secure a major federal HUD grant to conduct interior renovations to apartment units at Jack & Evelyn Alexander Place in West Palm Beach. Alexander Place is a supportive housing facility for 37 families experiencing homelessness. The campus consists of Project Family Care, a 24-unit permanent supportive housing program, and the Family Interim Housing program, a 13-unit transitional supportive housing program. Our agency will use the HUD funding to renovate the interior of 17 units in total: 9 two-bedroom units and 8 three-bedroom units. The scope of work will include replacing flooring, appliances and blinds, remodeling the kitchens and bathrooms, and installing new hardware and mobilizations. The interior renovations will improve the safety, functionality, and durability of the Family Campus’ supportive housing units. This will enable families to continue to benefit from the facility for years to come.
Australian Avenue Headquarters:
We are nearing the final phases of construction on our new, expanded Australian Avenue headquarters in West Palm Beach. We expect to serve more than 700 people experiencing homelessness a year at the facility. The newly constructed building will be home to our employment center, culinary job training program, reentry center, Cafe Joshua dining room, and employee offices and workspaces. In addition, it will host a brand new, state-of-the-art Homeless Engagement Center where people living on the streets can come to escape the elements and begin their journeys out of homelessness.
The Australian Avenue headquarters will provide an array of services to the homeless community. At one central location, clients will have access to basic needs resources (food, clothing, and hygiene items), benefits navigation, housing assessment and placement, peer support, literacy tutoring, life skills instruction, clinical services, health care and coordination, and SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery (SOAR). In addition, clients will be able to engage in constructive recreational and pro-social activities, such as recovery groups, wellness activities, arts and crafts, gardening, and cards and board games.
The Australian Avenue headquarters will feature a living room with comfortable seating, a kid’s play area, an outdoor oasis garden, a library corner, private meeting spaces, a women’s room, workstations, bathrooms, and a flex room. Clients will also have access to an on-site computer lab, food pantry, and clothing closet. The 25,000-square-foot facility will be open Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 am – 6:00 pm and Saturdays from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. The site will serve hot meals on weekdays and a bagged lunch on Saturdays. All services and resources will be free of charge to clients.
Achievements: Our CEO, Diana Stanley, was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at Nonprofits First’s Sixth Annual Hats Off Nonprofits Award Ceremony in October. The Hats Off Awards honors nonprofit organizations, leaders, and volunteers who make a lasting contribution to the welfare of our local community. Diana was among a distinguished field of candidates that included Samuel "Jack" Hairston, also known as Jack The Bike Man, Father Frank O’Loughlin of the Guatemalan-Maya Center, and former county commissioner Jess Santamaria with the My Brother's/Sister's Keeper Charitable Trust and Scholarship Foundation.
Diana has led The Lord’s Place for nearly 15 years. She is a passionate advocate for families and individuals experiencing homeless and former incarceration. Under Diana’s visionary leadership, our agency has increased its annual budget from a $3.1 to $14 million, expanded its housing by more than 75 units, increased its staff from 32 to 120+ members, and launched innovative new initiatives such as Women’s Services, Street Engagement, and a Reentry Program. Diana has made a lasting contribution in the lives of thousands of Palm Beach County residents during her many years of service. Time and time again, she has used her voice to be a catalyst for change. Through her advocacy and efforts on behalf of struggling households, Palm Beach County has increased its supportive housing, secured new funding for nonprofits, and garnered regional and national acclaim for its best practices.
Last year, our agency served 1,782 individuals experiencing housing instability, poverty, criminal justice involvement, and other barriers to self-sufficiency. We conducted outreach to 651 people living on the streets, housed 419 children and adults, assisted 347 unemployed adults with job training services, and provided health care and coordination to 143 clients with behavioral health conditions. Throughout the year, we continued to strengthen and expand our programs. We completed a new strategic plan to guide our goals and objectives through 2025. We secured major contracts with the county government to sustain our street outreach and reentry programs. Through our advocacy initiative, we supported a number of causes aligned with our mission, particularly affordable housing for low-income households.