Volusia County, FL – In Thursday’s meeting, the Volusia County Council was updated on the status of Halifax Urban Ministries’ Hope Place, and they discussed developing a neighborhood park on the homeless shelter’s grounds.
The architects and the construction company working on Hope Place are both local. The City of Daytona Beach has agreed to donate $75,000 per year for the 1st 2 years toward operating costs. The cities of Ormond Beach, Port Orange, South Daytona, and Daytona Beach Shores are all considering contributing to Hope Place as well, and Holly Hill has already committed to donating.
Construction will commence in January and officials hope it will be done by summertime. Hopefully, families will be able to start moving in at that time. The facility should be able to hold between 200 and 300 people when it’s finished.
After they were updated on the status of the shelter, the council discussed the development of a neighborhood rec area to be put on its grounds – formerly Hurst Elementary School. The budget for the project is $400,000 and it would come out of the Park Impact Fees. No general fund money would be used for the project.
The plan includes a baseball field, a basketball court, a playground, a pavilion, a community garden, decorative fencing, and perimeter landscaping. HUM will hold an on-site meeting to get public input.
When Hope Place was initially being discussed, many people living near the site were strongly opposed to the plan. Bust since then, efforts have been made to win over residents. “We reached out to the neighbors,” said Anne Evans, the incoming Chair of HUM. “And we actually reached out to some of those people who stood up here who were violently opposed to the project. We gathered about 8 of them together, at Hope Place. We walked them through everything that was going on. When they left they were volunteering to help work with the residents, they were volunteering to do anything they could to make the project work. They’re very anxious to see the plans for the park and to participate in some of its development. We were just waiting for this plan so that now we can call this group back together and show them the detailed plans we have for the facility and also for the park. So, we’ve reached out to them and have a really good group.”
The park will be a multi-purpose site with open access. That means the entire neighborhood will be able to use the park, not just the residents of Hope Place.
(Map of Hope Place plan courtesy VCC)
Photo courtesy Blulz60 and Shutterstock.com.
Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2016.