AGENCY GETS FUNDS
A St. Johns County homeless organization has received its first-ever federal funding.
The Emergency Services and Homeless Coalition of St. Johns County will receive $152,610 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's 2002 Homeless Grant Programs.
A total $1.1 billion in Emergency Shelter and Continuum of Care Grants is being allocated nationally, including $88.7 million in Florida. The money will fund thousands of local housing and service programs mainly to provide permanent housing and supportive services to the homeless.
So far without public funding the St. Johns County homeless coalition has purchased 14 houses in the western part of the county to be used for transitional housing. The federal grant will be used to restore the largest house and for supportive services.
SICKLE CELL CENTER
The Charles B. McIntosh Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center is celebrating its grand opening today as part of National Community Development Week.
The center is at 555 W. 11th St. behind Shands Jacksonville. A Community Development Block Grant of nearly $200,000 was awarded to Shands to help renovate the former physician's clinic and buy equipment and supplies for a one-stop sickle cell service center.
RIVER TREK REPORT
Environmental writer Bill Belleville will share pictures and anecdotes about his journey down the length of the St. Johns River at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow in the University of North Florida's Robinson Theater.
Belleville's work focuses on the environment and how it may affect culture. His book, River of Lakes: A Journey on Florida's St. …