PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A longtime Palm Beach County organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness is celebrating a major upcoming expansion on Thursday.
A "Departure Day" ceremony is helping to say goodbye to The Lord's Place's current 9,000 square-foot campus, and make way for a new 25,000 square-foot campus in its place.
Leaders said they've outgrown their current space and the new building will allow them to expand their services as they continue to see the need to serve more people.
Chief Advancement Officer Anne Noble said they began this $20 million expansion campaign back in 2019 to find their "Home for Good."
The new facility will be home to a new, remodeled Cafe Joshua, and increase housing and other programs like job training and employment.
"The new building will have a really nice Engagement Center, more space for having lunch, have a much bigger kitchen for our Joshua catering, and then space for all of our program people to be able to meet with our clients in a private setting," Noble said. "We knew it was time to be able to create a bigger building for us for all of our programs and services, to expand our housing, and to increase our sustainability for the agency as well so that we're available for years to come."
The Lord's Place expects to finish the new building in January 2023 on the same Australian Avenue property. In the meantime, services have been set up at temporary locations.
"Our programs and services have gone uninterrupted during this time, we've really rallied around the most important part of The Lord's Place, and that's really our clients, ensuring that they continue to have those life-changing programs and services that they need to end their cycle of homelessness," Noble said.
"This is our day where we say goodbye to a building that has so many wonderful memories has brought so many people out of their journey of homelessness, that has served our community well for so many years," Noble said.
Knocking holes in the wall and writing messages of love are the ways people said farewell Thursday morning to the building that has served so many people and has created many memories over the years.
The old The Lord's Place building off Australian Avenue is going to be completely demolished by the end of the month to be resurrected as a 25,000 square-foot building .
"For about a year-and-a-half, struggling to find a place to live," said Theresa Graham, who was helped by The Lord's Place. "I was put into a hotel. Afterwards, they found me a house, an apartment. That's where I am now. I am so grateful to The Lord's Place for how they helped me.”
"It's bittersweet to me. You know, these are the halls I walked in and this is home," said Joshua Gibson.
For Gibson, in 2017 he said The Lord's Place changed his life after getting out of jail.
"I was excited to be incarcerated for a long time. I was welcomed to the main campus as a client. Shortly after, I graduated to being an employee here and working with you know, men and women exiting incarceration," Gibson said.
The new facility is expected to be finished in early 2023. To learn more about the new building and locations for temporary services, click here.
For more information about The Lord's Place and its programs, click here.