Jack Meyering remembers the first time he was told about the problem of homelessness in the area.
"Every time you mention it, it makes me tear up," said Meyering.
10 years ago, he was talking with the sheriff who told him about the women they would find out late at night.
"Some are living in boxes in woods. Some are sleeping in station wagons. Some have children, but we have no place to take them," Meyering recalled.
So Meyering and his wife Char stepped up to the plate and contributed 500-thousand dollars toward a new Salvation Army building in East Stuart.
The local Salvation Army serves 43-thousand clients annually and feeds 100 every Saturday night.
Since a physical building on Martin Luther King Boulevard was already there, Wednesday's groundbreaking on a new Salvation Army headquarters was more of a ground turning. The former Division of Children and Families site has been gutted.
What will make it unique is the Compassion House, an 8-unit shelter for homeless women and their kids. Major Harold Robbins says the house will allow those who need help to keep their dignity.
"But also when necessary to receive appropriate instruction and training so they can move on into job market and find fulfillment in their own apartments," added Robbins.
Now after more than a decade of talk and planning, the sun will shine on a segment of society that often lives in the shadows.
Copyright 2010 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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