Home Again has been operating as a non-profit organization since 2011. The concept of coordinating homeless services at a one-stop location grew out of initial community planning meetings in 2008. At that time, community leaders reviewed 10 year plans to implement strategies to address homeless issues. Even prior to incorporating with the support of the United Way of St. Johns County, Home Again moved forward in coordinating a much-needed Provider Network Program and developing direct services such as its Dining with Dignity program and a Drop-In Center (shower and laundry facility).

In 2010, Home Again St. Johns began coordinating a monthly Provider meeting with more than 30 collaborating agencies identifying and addressing service delivery issues within the Continuum of Care for the homeless population. This resulted in the development of the OPEN DOORS resource card currently in use and updated semi-annually.

Needs identified from these meetings additionally resulted in development of Home Again’s food sharing program and Drop In Center in the community. This identified gap in service filled nutrition and basic need availability where it was not otherwise offered. Dining with Dignity, staffed by over 400 volunteers, now serves daily hot meals to 100 people each evening at two locations: at the corner of Bridge and Washington Street in downtown St. Augustine and at the Home Again offices on State Road 207. Since inception, 150,000 meals have been served. The Drop In Center, also located at the Home Again offices, is open Wednesdays and Sundays and the second Saturday of the month.

In 2014, with the acquisition of new staff, property, a donated van and grant funding, a Street Outreach Program was implemented. This program now operates with shared resources. Three times a week a team of homeless prevention providers perform field visits driving the Home Again van to where the homeless are known to have found temporary shelter. Whenever possible, this team includes a medical professional, a social or mental health professional, and a law enforcement community resource officer. Each team locates and identifies the homeless, assesses their conditions, and distributes needed supplies. An additional Street Outreach worker joined the team expanding coverage in 2015.

A common service location for the homeless population was envisioned early on with the Home Again Board of Directors. The goal was for the provider network of professionals to offer multiple services at one stop. The right place for the One Stop Center emerged in 2012 through a partnership with the Salvation Army which owned property on State Road 207 in St. Augustine. The coordinating physical facility became a reality with a 90-year lease and ongoing community commitment for its development. In 2013, the Home Again offices co-located with the Salvation Army on the 13.5 acre parcel of land.

Currently, less than 10% of the property is in use with a parking lot and two modular buildings. These buildings house Salvation Army Social Services & Food Pantry and the Home Again St. Johns office. Phase One of the project is to construct the infrastructure for a paved road and utilities; build a large multi-use building containing offices, dining hall and commercial kitchen; two housing structures containing multiple living environments of dormitory-style, single room occupancy and apartments for men, women and families.

The One Stop Center is being developed to be the right place for homeless in St. Johns County to connect with and receive the services they need. A coordinated intake of all homeless individuals seeking services will take place and connect them with their most immediate needs: food, a place to sleep, shower and laundry . Continuous engagement will guide individuals as they stabilize into an in-depth evaluation and development of individualized service plan to return to stable participation in the community best suited for them.

The wide range of agencies supporting this campus will involve many community volunteers. Those receiving services will be included wherever possible in doing work to support the campus.

Development of the One Stop Homeless Center is a true community effort. Several businesses in the area of construction have offered services when the time comes to build.

From 2011 to 2014, the organizational budget grew exponentially. Repetitive community fundraising efforts and grant applications sustained solid development of staff now including an Executive Director; Director of Development and Street Outreach Coordinator. Additional funding support comes from direct budget appropriations from the City of St. Augustine and the St. Johns County’s Visitor & Convention Bureau. In 2014, property horizontal build-out commenced with plans, permitting and zoning. In May of 2015, Home Again St. Johns was unanimously approved by the St. Johns County Commissioners to build a United Service Center with 100 units of housing for the homeless on its property on State Road 207. Homeless Coordination Services will be provided on-site concurrent with the three year construction timeline.