HOUSING

A front line concern for the Beaches community is providing affordable housing and keeping people in their homes. Palms is dedicated to building lives and homes with Christ-like love -- creating oases in the community that sustain and nurture.

BEAM

BEAM is an independent non-profit ecumenical service center dedicated to providing short-term social services for residents of the Beaches and West Beaches. Established by beaches area churches, Palms Presbyterian has been a long time, significant financial supporter. Palms also supports BEAM by participating in food drives, and special events like Back To School With BEAM. BEAM provides effective and coordinated social outreach to help residents through periods of financial crisis with the goal of keeping the families in their homes. BEAM works closely with other agencies when possible. Services provided include rent and utility assistance; vouchers for clothing; food pantry and personal products; back to school supplies/shoes; Christmas and Thanksgiving gifts for children and their families; budgeting assistance and free income tax preparation, and Job Corp. Palms has several volunteers who work weekly in the BEAM offices at 850 6th Avenue South in Jacksonville Beach. Palms members also serve on the BEAM Board of Directors. Many other Palms members, including the youth, lead a special group of people each year in helping put on the BEAM Christmas Party for children at the Carver Center.


Beaches Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry dedicated to eliminating substandard housing in the Jacksonville Beaches. As an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, Beaches Habitat seeks to eliminate poverty housing and to make decent housing a matter of conscience and action. Beaches Habitat works in partnership with local families and volunteers to build simple, decent homes. Founded in 1991, Beaches Habitat dedicated its 201st home in November of 2009. More homes are under construction in Haywood Estates off Mayport Road. Palms was a very early organizer of the Habitat affiliate with a covenant for a beaches group that dates back to 1989.

Beaches Habitat selection committee chooses families to live in the homes based on need, ability to pay and willingness to partner. Families must invest 300 hours of labor working alongside volunteers. After construction, the families purchase the home from Beaches Habitat at no profit and with no interest charged. The average house payment for a family is $525. Money from the mortgages goes to fund future homes. Palms has built many homes with hundreds of volunteers. Palms provides financial support, often accounting for the full cost of a home, having built four entire homes since 2005, and participated in Apostle Builds with groups of churches and has built several more homes through this type of joint effort. Palms member have also served on the Board of Directors. Education is very important to Beaches Habitat and because of that core value, adult classes are held in budgeting, home finance, and home maintenance. Beaches Habitat also offers a variety of programs for its youth.

Mission House is the only day facility to help meet the needs of the homeless adults in the beaches area through compassion, faith and programs designed to provide assistance at an individual level. Today, our number one goal is to assist homeless people off the streets and back to productive and self-sufficient lives. For more information, visit www.missionhousejax.org.

By supplying rides to home-bound seniors, this beach-centered service provides them with a certain amount of independence. This transportation is also enough to allow seniors to live in their own homes. Palms has been supportive since 2005 and continues to provide financial support. Through a typical year, Dial-A-Ride will have 450 Beaches area clients and provide 7,362 rides.

Palms Presbyterian Church and other Beaches area churches partner with Mission House to provide meals and a warm place to spend the night for the homeless at the beaches. Shelter nights are determined by the Mission House staff, usually when the weather is expected to be 40 degrees or below. In the past, some 50 to 100 men and women have responded to the hospitality, and are provided a warm dinner and breakfast, as well as a blanket and place to sleep. In a usual year, Palms hosts the homeless for three to four nights, and up to six nights during severe winters. The Cold Weather Shelter needs both women and men volunteers. Shifts are available in three-hour increments. Palms member Craig Sharkey leads this important ministry, and can be contacted at 237-7991. Please consider helping at the Cold Weather Shelter.