New shelter project addressing homelessness in Manatee County

WWSB ABC7 News at 6pm
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 9:34 PM EDT
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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - The District 2 Sheriff’s Office is in the process of becoming a 23,000 square foot, all-encompassing facility for people in need.

“It’s completely unique to Manatee County. We have never had anything like this before,” said Commissioner Amanda Ballard, who is leading the “Under One Roof Family Shelter” project.

The shelter will be a one-stop-shop for resources for homeless people or people at risk of becoming homeless. Families will be able to stay in the shelter for three or four months, and have access to services like counseling, tutoring for kids and help finding a job.

“This is going to be an opportunity for those kinds of families to get back on their feet and not fall into that cycle of poverty and homelessness,” said Ballard.

The county is currently working on finding a non-profit to operate the shelter on a day-to-day basis.

“The non-profit will have a vetting process to make sure the family fits the requirements that they are looking for, that they are willing to work with the programs that are here, and really want that hand up,” said Ballard.

The county is still working with an architect to see how many people the shelter will be able to accommodate at a time, but Ballard hopes to have a few families in the shelter by Christmas of this year.