Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mission House Will Try Again Closed for Lack of Facilities, They'll Bring It Up to Speed

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mission House Will Try Again Closed for Lack of Facilities, They'll Bring It Up to Speed

Article excerpt

JACKSONVILLE BEACH -- Organizers of the Mission House project

are set to try again for a permanent site for the facility on

Shetter Avenue.

The contractor is awaiting permits from the city to begin

construction on the facility that is expected to contain a

kitchen, restrooms, dining room, offices, break rooms and pantry

after the first two phases of building.

"We're not moving back in here until we've finished the

project," said Wade Robertson, who handles public relations for

Mission House.

The 800 Shetter Ave. facility, where Mission House served two

meals a day to homeless and indigent people, was closed in July

because the building did not have permanent restrooms, a health

code violation.

"The health department said because you're sitting down [to

eat], you need to have restrooms," according to Beckie Merideth,

president of the Mission House board of directors.

Since the shutdown, the soup kitchen has returned to a tent on

the north side of Beach Avenue to provide meals for more than 80

people a day. The soup kitchen served meals at the tent before

Mission House opened in April.

Mission House also serves meals daily to about 40 people who

are restricted to their homes.

The plans for Mission House call for a 400-square-foot structure

that links two existing buildings and constructing additions.

The project has been divided into three phases. Work on the

first two phases is expected to start within a week and be

completed in about 90 days.

"We're planning to serve Thanksgiving dinner here in a big

way," Merideth said.

When the work is finished, the dining room will be used for

noon and 7 p.m. meals, and various classes including sessions

for high school equivalency work and cooking for "people who

want to use their food stamps more wisely," Merideth said.

There will be a pantry to store canned goods for food drives

and the Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry can use the food

for making grocery bags for clients. …

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