Daytona Beach, FL - After years of planning and construction, the First Step Shelter in Daytona Beach is holding it's Grand Opening tomorrow morning. Executive Director Victoria Fahlberg said all the hard work has paid off and the first transitional homeless shelter for both men and women will open with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m.
The grand opening is open to the public. Fahlberg said she thinks it's important for residents to see the shelter for themselves and celebrate all of the things that have gone right. She said the main focus of the grand opening is to let the public come and see what the Shelter is all about but there will be a table set up for anyone wanting information on how to volunteer and/or donate. A table will be set up to give and take information so that staff can get in contact with those interested at a later date.
Fahlberg said the Shelter will open for clients on Monday, December 16. She reminds anyone wanting to get into the Shelter that there is an intake process to be followed. Walk-ins and self-referrals are not being taken to start with. Fahlberg said that clients will have to be referred but referrals from almost any agency will be accepted. Referrals will be accepted from law enforcement, social service agencies, places of worship, the court system and hospitals. She said that her understanding is that, depending on the crime, officers could ask the person if they'd prefer going to the Shelter as opposed to being locked up.
Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry chairs the First Step Shelter Board and has been involved with moving the project forward since he was elected to his first term in 2012. “We’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time. Thanks to our community partners, the county, local businesses, and concerned individuals, the First Step Shelter will be opening its doors for business.”
Fahlberg said there's been a tremendous effort on the part of very many people in this community, over a long period of time to get the first homeless shelter for single men and women in our county and she really would like the public to come out and see what's been created. The ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for 10 a.m., followed by a reception and tours of the facility. The First Step Shelter is located at 3889 West International Speedway Boulevard, just past Indian Lake Road.