Immediate Needs Fund

Help prevent and end homelessness by making a donation toward an immediate need.  We’ve set up a fund to cover the small expenses that tend to be the tipping point pushing people into homelessness. Things like a flat tire,  needing to be able get back to Mom, or having to choose between groceries or rent. Often, households will call looking for emergency shelter before they actually lose their housing. This fund lets us address those issues and prevent households from ever becoming homeless.

 

GRACE_Kitchen_1810w

GRACE to launch campaign for new Community Services Center

We’ve been able to do a lot in our first two years. More than 2,300 individuals have been served over 120,000 meals and nearly 28,000 nights of shelter.

But we’ve got a longer-range plan.

We’re excited to announce that we’ll soon undergo renovations to open a new Community Services Center to provide support to anyone in need in the Gainesville area, not just those who are experiencing homelessness.

We’ve cultivated relationships with many important resources that serve our residents, but we’re running out of room! Our new Community Services Center will offer expanded service hours and a more diverse pool of resources available to our community.
Right now, our service providers share office space and equipment. Some even work remotely, serve our residents from mobile facilities in the parking lot or pull up a chair with them inside our busy Welcome Center. We add new services all the time, and are almost at capacity for what we can provide in these shared spaces.

Your support of this building gives us room to grow, opening up possibilities such as:

  • Daily 12-step meetings
  • A safe space for women
  • Expanded services for Veterans
  • An activity room for recreational and income-generating activities
  • Expanded mental health services
  • On-site medical services
  • Expanded case management
  • Other community providers not currently able to participate at GRACE

Our renovation plans will provide more room for us to grow and further our mission to be a permanent fixture of Gainesville’s resource community. But we need your help!

A generous donor has offered to match all funds raised before May 31st, up to $125,000. 

To get involved:

Donate now to double your impact

Set up a fan page to share this exciting opportunity with your friends

Read an editorial piece in the Gainesville Sun from former UF President, Dr. Bernie Machen (full text available here)

 

 

For more information about making a donation, starting your own fundraiser for our campaign, or The Community Services Center in general, contact kslevin@gracemarketplace.org or call (352) 792-0800 x. 117

Brought to you as part of the Community Foundation’s Amazing Give Amazing Give Footer

 

GRACE serves its 100,000th meal

GRACE Marketplace will serve its 100,000th meal on Wednesday February 17th and will begin its new Culinary Training Program in February as well. With the new kitchen in place, GRACE has been able to expand its services and the new Culinary Training program will prepare participants for jobs in local restaurants and institutions.

“GRACE could never have made it to this milestone without the incredible support of community groups who come in to prepare meals.” said Lexi Braun, GRACE’s Volunteer Coordinator. “We only got our kitchen equipment in November and before then volunteers cooked meals at churches and homes and brought them in to be served. I don’t know what we would have done without them.”

The new Culinary Training Program will be 8 weeks long and combine hands on kitchen training with online life skills courses and intensive case management. Participants will have an opportunity to put their skill into practice as part of the daily meal preparation and as part of GRACE Catering which will roll out later this year. This exciting new program is the first job training program being offered at GRACE.

If you are interested in learning more about GRACE and the new program, check out the video on our website. www.gracemarketplace.org

GRACE still needs groups to prepare meals for the coming year. If your group is interested in finding out more about this fun, team building opportunity please contact Lexi Braun at 352-792- 0800 ext. 104. volunteer@gracemarketplace.org

About GRACE: Quite simply, we meet people where they are and get them the help they need to live the best lives possible. We are a one-stop assistance center for people without housing, bringing together key social service agencies in one location to make it easier for people in our community to get the help they need. GRACE is supported by the City of Gainesville, Alachua County, and the Alachua County Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry.

Rethinking homeless services to make it easier for people to get off the streets.

Donate Now to our IndieGoGO Campaign

 

Ten years ago, a group of us got together to re-think how we provided homeless services in Alachua County. The way we had been doing things wasn’t working. Getting help was like running an obstacle course. We were asking people with little or no access to transportation to run back and forth across town, from one agency to another, desperately trying to stitch together the resources and referrals they needed to pull themselves back on their feet. The same problems that contributed to people becoming homeless – limited transportation, lack of knowledge about available help, physical and mental health problems, and more – also made it difficult for people to get back into housing.

Community leaders, advocates, volunteers, and homeless and formerly homeless people spent six months working on the issue. GRACE Marketplace emerged from these discussions as the central piece of our community’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness. GRACE brings together the best social service and health care agencies in our community to strengthen the safety net for our friends and neighbors.

What We Do at GRACE

We are a one-stop assistance center for people without housing, bringing together key social service agencies in one location to make it easier for people in our community to get the help they need. We provide emergency shelter (indoors) and an outdoor shelter pavilion for men and women. We also provide meals, day services, laundry, storage, a computer lab, a clothing closet, case management, AA/NA meetings, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and, most of all, a place people can call home.

GRACE Marketplace is a project of the Alachua County Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit with two decades of experience developing and coordinating homeless services in North Central Florida.

What We Need & What You Get

Our current operating budget is not enough to provide the level of services required to help people transition back to self-sufficiency. We are raising $50,000 to support and expand the programs and services currently offered at GRACE Marketplace. 100% of your donation goes directly to support programs and services at GRACE Marketplace. All money raised through this campaign will be used to:

  • Expand supportive service and case management options,
  • Provide move-in assistance (first/last month rent and security deposit), and
  • Improve safety and security on our 25-acre campus, and

$1 covers the cost of a meal for one hungry person.

$25 provides a day of comprehensive services for one person.

$50 provides a week of day shelter (bathrooms, phones, showers, storage of personal belongings, and a place to get off the street and relax) for one person.

$100 will provide a week of overnight shelter for one man or woman without a safe place to call home.

$186 covers the cost of ordering pizza for 100 evening guests when we don’t have a group from the community coming in to provide dinner.

$500 provides the security deposit needed to move one person out of homelessness and into housing.

$1000 provides the security deposit and first month of rent needed to get a person off the streets and into housing.

The Impact

Homelessness is the most visible symptom of poverty in our community. Whether you think homelessness is a crisis, a social justice issue, a women’s issue, a veterans’ issue, a health care issue, or just something you don’t want to see anymore in downtown Gainesville, GRACE Marketplace is part of the solution.

Since we opened in May of 2014, we have provided 20,000 meals and over 5,000 nights of shelter to homeless men and women in Alachua County. The majority of the 100+ people living in the former Tent City south of downtown have moved out to the GRACE campus. We have helped move 80 people off the streets and back into housing since we started, and with your help, we can continue to provide these and other high-quality services.

GRACE provides easy access to services for people experiencing homelessness by providing a safety net for our friends and neighbors.

Current GRACE partners include:

  • Meridian Behavioral Healthcare
  • Three Rivers Legal Services
  • Peaceful Paths
  • University of Florida Mobile Medical Unit
  • Florida Dept. of Children & Families
  • Bread of the Mighty Food Bank
  • Greenhouse Church
  • Holy Trinity Episcopal Church Downtown Ministry
  • Volunteers of America
  • The VA Medical Center
  • VETSPACE
  • Gainesville Community Ministry
  • Narcotics Anonymous
  • Alcoholics Anonymous

Other Ways You Can Help

If you can’t contribute financially, please consider helping in one of these other ways:

  • Spread the word! Ask your friends to #fundGRACE, and share this campaign on social media!
  • Organize a donation drive at your workplace, school, or church. We always need men’s and women’s hygiene items, new socks and underwear, blankets, coats, sweaters, bug sprays, tents, and sleeping bags!
  • Volunteer! Fill out a volunteer application and we’ll contact you with volunteer opportunities.