Mission House Celebrating 20 Years of Compassion by the Sea

(Jacksonville Beach, FL) For over ten years, members and volunteers of Christ Episcopal, Palms Presbyterian, and St. Paul’s Catholic and Episcopal churches were feeding and clothing individuals facing homelessness at the beaches utilizing their halls, gymnasiums, and even the backs of their station wagons. The need at the beach was plenty, but the resources were scarce. It wasn’t until February 1997 that these four churches along with over 162 donors purchased the property at 800 Shetter Avenue in Jacksonville Beach and Mission House was born. Of the many amazing supporters, two of Mission House’s noteworthy founders and early board members were Dr. Raymond Daly III and Mary Alice Wester. Shortly after launching Mission House, the founders noticed a lack of medical care available to individuals facing homelessness. Working in partnership with the Baptist Beaches Medical Center, the First Annual Beach Ball was held in May of 1998.  Proceeds from the ball funded the design and construction of a medical facility, which opened in October of 1998. Over the last 20 years, Mission House has impacted thousands of individuals from meals and showers to case management, workforce development, housing, and medical care. On any given month, Mission House serves over 1,400 meals, serves an average of 30 new patients in their medical clinic, accommodates an average of 215 case management visitors per month, including new and repeat, helps an average of 7 new clients find employment, and assists an average of 10 clients to find housing.

Due to economic conditions, family background, and life situations, each one of Mission House’s clients have faced a trial in their life that they may not have expected.  Mission House is there to assist them in planning a way back to an independent and positive way of life. One of those clients is Kathleen. Kathleen worked for the IRS for over 20 years. Due to unfortunate circumstances, Kathleen ended up losing everything where she found herself living on the streets. Kathleen came to Mission House for the necessities - food, clothing, and a shower. The number one goal at Mission House is to assist people who are homeless off the streets and back to productive and self-sufficient lives. Thanks to case management services offered at Mission House, Kathleen was able to find employment and housing shortly after visiting the Mission. To date, Mission House is still the only day facility to help meet the needs of people who are homeless at the Beaches through compassion, faith, and programs designed to provide assistance at an individual level. In honor of the 20th year anniversary, Mission House will be hosting a community open house February 25, 2017. Mission house will recognize the city officials for their support and dedication over the years, including Jacksonville Beach Mayor's, Chief of Police, and much more. It will also be a great opportunity for those in the community to learn more about Mission House’s services and take a look around the recently renovated facility. To learn more about this community open house in honor of Mission House’s 20th year anniversary, you can contact the Mission by phone at 904-241-6767, by email at missionhousejax@gmail.com, or online by clicking here.