Gulf Coast Hope Center provides update

Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 09:09 AM.

Matt Scoggins promised Port St. Joe commissioners more than a year ago that he would provide yearly updates on the progress of the Gulf Coast Hope Center.

And, as Port St. Joe Mayor Mel Magidson noted, Scoggins continued to be true to his word.

Scoggins and Rev. Joe Atkinson, the director of the Gulf Coast Hope Center, appeared before commissioners last week to map out the progress of the past year to 14 months since the Hope Center, to considerable controversy regarding location and services, first opened.

Scoggins and Atkinson noted that true to pledges provided to commissioners when the Commission was considering a permit for the Hope Center there was no shelter housing individuals overnight and no kitchen providing meals at the Hope Center.

Instead, Atkinson noted, the Hope Center had performed as promised, seeing people in need, helping them where possible and referring those individuals to appropriate agencies.

“We have been able to come out and provide services to the needy in the community,” Atkinson said. “We have been true to our word. We did not set up a shelter; we do not feed people.”

Instead, Atkinson said, there was assistance in providing furniture to a women forced from her home by domestic violence. Center staff had been able to help a veteran living in the woods get the mental and physical health assistance he needed and he was now in housing.

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