The Tallahassee-Leon Shelter Study Update


UCF Sociology professors Drs. Amy Donley and James Wright recently lent their expertise to the Tallahassee-Leon Shelter. The shelter was in the midst of some controversies when the United Way of the Big Bend President, Heather Mitchell, and the shelter’s board leadership called in the experts to help get the shelter back to working at maximum efficiency. For a long time the shelter has been causing local concern with more common issues like whether the shelter attracts more homeless people to the area, whether the presence of the shelter negatively affects economic development and community revitalization in the area and would the shelter guests be better served if the shelter were moved to a different location.  However, recent controversies caused the termination of some staff members and questions about the shelter and operations by the Board of Directors, bringing about the need for some outside advice.

The professors visited the Tallahassee-Leon Shelter on April 5-8, and conducted a series of interviews with the shelter’s staff, guests, members of the Board of Directors, and various representatives from the larger Tallahassee community. After a weekend filled with informative observations, Donley and Wright wrote a report containing 12 recommendations addressing all aspects of the shelter. To read the full report, click here.

About The Shelter

The Shelter is home to about 250 homeless men, women, children and families in downtown Tallahassee, Florida. It has been a part of the Tallahassee community since1986, responding to the emergency needs for people who need shelter, food, personal hygiene, clothing, medical assistance and crisis intervention services without charging fees or imposing time limits. The shelter also offers support services and referrals to other area agencies as necessary for food stamps, housing placement, substance abuse counseling, legal aid, health care, job training and employment.

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