Memories fade, as well as good health
Another landmark occasion was celebrated Feb. 25, the 20th anniversary of the founding of Mission House. Since 1997, the Jacksonville Beach facility for Beaches area homeless men and women has been providing meals, showers, clean clothing and—most important—hope to people living on the streets of Jacksonville Beach. “Last year we helped 79 men and women get off the street,” executive director Lori Anderson told guests gathered at the champagne and cake celebration. She praised the more than 500 volunteers and support provided by churches, individuals and foundations, and presented framed certificates of appreciation to city officials from Atlantic and Neptune beaches as well as Jacksonville Beach.
Jacksonville Beach Mayor Charlie Latham said because of Mission House “we’ve cut our homeless population by 50 percent in Jacksonville Beach.”
In addition to serving 55 plus meals twice daily, Monday-Friday and a large meal on Saturday and Sunday, Mission House provides case management to assess client needs and help them return to self-sufficiency. Assisted by volunteer doctors, nurses and other medical personnel, Mission House also operates a free healthcare clinic for homeless clients and low-income uninsured. In three years the clinic has seen about 840 patients, thus saving Baptist Medical Center Beaches about $1,145,000, Anderson said. She announced the creation of a $1 million endowment to keep Mission House operating for years to come. To donate or for a list of needs go to www.missionhousejax.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.