Breaking News
More () »

Sulzbacher Center looks to expand services, housing options for homeless men

President and CEO Cindy Funkhouser wants to relocate to a bigger space and build permanent housing units for homeless people living in Downtown Jacksonville.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Sulzbacher Center in Jacksonville has been a downtown draw for the homeless since 1995, but President and CEO Cindy Funkhouser said she wants to look for something bigger and better.

“For a lot of reasons, it just seems like the time is right,” Funkhouser explained.

After moving all of the women and families into a new location about three years ago, she now has her sights set on the men who are still living at the current center and will hopefully provide them with something more stable.

“We recognize that the answer to homelessness is permanent housing,” Funkhouser said.

Funkhouser is looking for at least an eight-acre property downtown that can accommodate several housing units.  She also wants to create a for-profit enterprise that could lead to job creation for her clients and with that, a steady paycheck.

“Where we would train folks in a living wage job probably around the construction field of some sort,” Funkhouser explained.

She said she had been working on the project for a while but a deciding factor to get going now is because of flooding from recent hurricanes.  

“Hurricane Irma, we were under four and a half feet of water and we’ve had to evacuate our shelter the last three hurricanes,” Funkhouser recalled.

Funkhouser would like to have the project completed in three years. She sent her proposal to the city and her next priority is find to the land and then to fundraise.

Paid Advertisement