Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Beaches Women's Center Celebrates an Anniversary

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Beaches Women's Center Celebrates an Anniversary

Article excerpt

It's a familiar scenario at the Beaches:

After a series of bad circumstances, a single mother suddenly realizes she has no money, no job and three kids to feed and clothe.

She's scared and feels alone. Because she's not familiar with the area, she doesn't know where to go for help. But then, she couldn't afford gas to get there even if she did. She just wants to talk to someone who cares.

The Women's Center of Jacksonville has provided assistance in such cases and for other women's needs since 1994, but women at the Beaches couldn't always get downtown for help.

Some Beaches residents solved that problem by persuading the Women's Center to expand to Jacksonville Beach in March. On Friday, the Women's Center of Jacksonville at the Beaches will hold an open house to celebrate its first anniversary and kick off Women's History Month.

"We've had a wide range of clients here [at the Beaches Center], from down-and-out people to some that are wealthy," said Julisa Delamar, coordinator for Beaches services for the Women's Center of Jacksonville. "We have tried to reach out to the diversity of the community."

Delamar said she and the 10 volunteers who work at the Beaches Center have worked hard in that year to get the word out about their 23rd Avenue South location in Jacksonville Beach. In that time, she said, the center has connected about 220 clients with other Beaches social service agencies and helped countless others with various support groups, free HIV testing, counseling assistance and education programs.

The most unexpected result of the Beaches Center's presence, Delamar said, has been the number of clients who have walked in to their facility instead of calling on the phone.

"People drop by for all of our services, so we quickly learned that our space was very convenient for that," she said.

Delamar also said collaborating with other Beaches agencies has been a successful venture. …

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