The Bridge offers a chance for those struggling with homelessness to find help to successfully navigate their reentry challenges.
For several years, Volusia County has looked for ways to alleviate homelessness. In 2016, a joint effort was launched between the Neighborhood Center of West Volusia, Volusia County, all West Volusia cities, churches,businesses and civic groups to construct a new crisis shelter and day services center.
The proposed 6,300 square foot facility, called "The Bridge" will include 30 crisis center beds, a communal dining area and commercial kitchen,showers, offices and space to provide coordinated entry and case management, mental health and drug abuse counseling, job counseling, medical care, haircuts, showers and laundry. The goal of this coordinated and comprehensive approach is to transition people to housing within 30-90 days.
The shelter will be constructed on a site owned by the City of DeLand at 421 South Palmetto Avenue, which is also near the Neighborhood Center's facilities.
The Volusia County government has agreed to fund the construction of The Bridge. Staff from the Neighborhood Center will manage the day-to-day operations while all West Volusia cities as well as numerous businesses, churches and area stakeholders have committed to fund those operations and provide volunteer support.
Once built, the two-story building will also double as the area's cold weather shelter and storm shelter for homeless.
Officials anticipate construction of the building to be complete during the first quarter of 2020.