Making way for homeless men

This week, we’ve been making way for the upcoming construction of the Coalition’s new Men’s Service Center (MSC).  The facility, slated to open in late 2012 or early 2013, will be constructed on our main Central Boulevard campus.

We can’t tell you how exciting it was to see our on-site portables being towed away and our outside bank of lockers relocated. All the disassembling is occurring so the site can be prepared for a two-story, residential facility that will replace the current Men’s Pavilion.  We will be able to better serve one of the most underserved segments of the homeless population: men.

Through our present and future community partnerships, the Coalition plans to offer much-needed case management and supportive services for up to 250 men and raise the level of assistance for specialized populations, such as the physically disabled, military veterans, and men with substance abuse problems.

A lot has transpired since we first announced the $6.6 million in capital funding support from the City of Orlando and Orange County.  (We SO appreciate that!)  In November 2009, Baker Barrios Architects began to design the facility free of charge, taking the work through the schematic phase.  A community information meeting was held in April 2010; and Powell Design Group completed the facility’s final design in February 2011.

After completion of the permitting stage in early August, a bid solicitation was issued.  Bids were opened in mid-September, and a contractor has been selected.  We expect to break ground on this “dream come true” in January 2012.  Orange County Government is managing the project’s procurement process and construction.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Coalition Board member Glenn Fournier, who quickly recognized that our nonprofit would need the assistance of someone well-versed in real estate development, project management, negotiation, contractual agreements, and the myriad specifics necessary to bring a major construction project to fruition.  Glenn jumped right in to lead the way, feeling this was a way he “could make a significant contribution to the Coalition.”  He did just that and everyone concerned remains extremely grateful.

We’ll keep you posted!