Mayor's Downtown Homelessness Taskforce
In 2017, Mayor Curry launched the Downtown Homelessness Taskforce to align the collective efforts of the public, private and philanthropic sectors focused on ending homelessness in our community. The Taskforce teamed with local and regional partners for a more collaborative effort to find more permanent housing solutions and increase services for people experiencing homelessness.
As an outcome of the Mayor’s Downtown Homelessness Taskforce, the Urban Rest Stop (URS) was developed to (1) increase service points to people experiencing homelessness during the day, and (2) increase the capacity of services for the homeless population. A collaboration between Sulzbacher, the Mental Health Resource Center (MHRC), and the City of Jacksonville, the Urban Rest Stop serves as the main access point for the homeless service system. It is a safe place that individuals can go during the day to rest and access critical resources to help end their homelessness. Because of the success of the initiative, Mayor Curry increased funding in his 2019-20 city budget to expand the program from five days to seven days a week which provides for increased access to services for our homeless citizens. Click here or see below to view the Urban Rest Stop Brochure.
As a part of the Taskforce, the Mayor secured private funding from the United Arab Emirates to launch two mobile buses, a medical services bus and a social services bus, to serve as multi-service mobile clinics for individuals experiencing homelessness. The URS Health & Hope on Wheels Mobile Medical Bus was launched in March 2020 and played a critical role in connecting individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness with medical resources during the COVID-19 response.
In 2021, the Mayor’s Downtown Homelessness Taskforce officially sunset to launch the Jacksonville Housing Partnership for the purpose of focusing on affordable housing strategies and aligning sector investments around the homelessness to housing continuum. The collective effort of the members of the Taskforce has created a more collaborative, coordinated, and robust network of services for people experiencing homelessness in Jacksonville. The City of Jacksonville continues to support, partner, and invest in the continuum of care in Jacksonville and its partners. The homelessness taskforce is now being led by Changing Homelessness. To learn more, click here to visit the Changing Homelessness website.
COVID-19 Shelter Taskforce:
In response to COVID-19, members of the Mayor’s Downtown Homelessness Taskforce were activated to launch the Shelter COVID-19 Taskforce. The Taskforce convenes regular virtual meetings to discuss proactive plans for homeless shelters and implement innovative strategies in response to COVID-19. Click here to learn more about the collaborative approach of the shelter taskforce.
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Mayor’s Downtown Homelessness Taskforce - Founding Organizations: