February 25th 2010 – Citrus County Florida - A much needed homeless shelter is planned for Inverness Florida . As part of the ongoing effort to meet the needs of homeless veterans in the Citrus County Area- “The Mission in Citrus” is planning a homeless veteran’s shelter to be located on Park Ave “ In the old CASA shelter “ in Inverness Florida. The location was chosen after an earlier meeting with State and County Officials. As it was already an operating shelter , few upgrades are required to bring it up to compliance.
The Mission in Citrus decided to open the facility "because of the increased number of homeless Veterans and the demand for comprehensive, specialized services for them." stated founder James Sleighter. The Mission has helped over forty homeless Veterans in the past sixteen months. Some were just passing through Citrus County. Others were reunited with family and friends, and still others were helped with housing and job placement. We have found that many Veterans wander around the country in search of jobs or a place to call home. And that placing homeless Veterans into housing is extremely difficult , especially those receiving disability payments from the government.
We want to send a powerful message that we did not take their service for granted.” and that “We are deeply grateful for the service and sacrifice by our nation’s Veterans and we must make every effort to help them as they struggle to avoid a life on the streets, and in the woods of Citrus County” said Sleighter. “This program and shelter are an opportunity to say, ‘Thank You’ and to make certain that we serve them as they once served us.”
The shelter will be operated by formerly homeless Veterans residing at the Mission. We will also be recruiting retired Veteran volunteers who have the experience and knowledge to help deal with the problems that face incoming residents. The Mission is Faith based , but does not force anyone to church or Bible Study.. Our current residents attend fifteen local churches by choice and have the freedom to do so. Our open door policy will also remain the same , as we encourage visitation and community interaction.
The new website is now operating.. http://www.homelessbrigade.com
“The Mission in Citrus” is currently fundraising to establish the shelter and open by March 1st 2010. We will also be calling on all interested County Veterans to help with painting and repairs, and to become involved in the project. Working with the Veterans Administration to obtain grants, and with other community groups, the homeless shelter will be more than just a place to sleep. The facility will offer employment services, provide clothing, access to medical and dental care, provide spaces for group support meetings, offer transportation for medical needs and job searches, meals and other services as needed. The facility will also provide laundry and shower services daily for all Veterans. Three meals will be served daily to any Veteran in need , not just those living at the shelter. A food pantry and clothing center will also be available. More information will soon be available on the new shelter website http://www.homelessbrigade.com
And they will be treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve. Our goal is to make sure that no Veteran in Citrus County is forced to live in the woods. Those wishing to remain outdoors will still be helped through a new special outreach program.
Rising unemployment, current economic conditions, and an increased number of veterans coming home is swelling the ranks of the homeless. The Mission in Citrus will provide the basic needs for homeless Veterans as they receive the assistance they need to transition to an independent life. To help insure their success , the Mission will place them into group living environments where they can afford to live. Up to six Veterans can be placed into a single family home making it affordable for them all. As benefits, and jobs are obtained by those in need , residences will be located and obtained for their needs. The Mission will continue to monitor the housing units for stability and treatment needs.
About The Mission in Citrus:
“The Mission in Citrus” www.missionincitrus.com is a 501 ( C ) 3 non profit organization founded by the homeless for the homeless since 2008. The Mission has answered the call to “serve those who served us” in providing a hand up to Veterans who are homeless. Currently based in Crystal River, the group will be moving it’s offices to Inverness later this year.
James Sleighter, Director email - firstname.lastname@example.org..com phone (352) 270- HELP
( 4357 ) Darwin “ former Marine“- Shelter Manager
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The Mission in Citrus Ministry was created in 2008 out of diverse religious traditions to build relationships with Homeless Veterans and many others in need , in the rural areas of Florida.Today, we build relationships in a variety of settings, and all are helped regardless of their beliefs or unique situations. Many Veterans have given up trusting in our society, and have little access to shelter and services in rural settings.Our program is designed for those who are far from less than perfect and know it , but want and need help.Through building these relationships and the provision of housing, health, outreach, spiritual, and social services, we seek to empower homeless people of all ages to meet their own needs. Recognizing the uniqueness, dignity, and value of each person, we accept individuals as they are, in an affirming and compassionate manner, and call upon the larger community to the same MISSION