Palm Beach County now has a shelter and resource center for people experiencing homelessness in the Glades Community.
Tammy Jackson Moore is known as the guardian of the glades.
“Whatever it is that the residents in our community have angst about or needs about, we will make sure that we go advocate on their behalf,” she said.
During the COVID-19 pandemic those needs grew. Housing is at the top of the list.
“Housing in Belle Glade as well as the Glades proper has always been an issue,” Jackson Moore said. “Sometimes, those individuals that were faced with homelessness went and lived with relatives, but those who couldn’t they had to resort to living out of their vehicles and some of them just resorted to living in some abandoned buildings.”
For years, the closest shelter and resource center was more 40 miles away. One week ago, that changed.
“We do have a 43-unit complex now in Pahokee,” Commissioner Melissa McKinlay said.
In June, Palm Beach County commissioners approved $5 million in Cares Act money to turn a former senior apartment complex near Lake Okeechobee into a COVID-19 and homeless shelter.
“Historically, it seems the Glades was always treated as a stepchild,” McKinlay said.
Commissioner McKinlay says the county also used the county’s 1-cent sales tax revenue to open a homeless resource center. Both are restricted to Glades residents only; she calls it a win.
“Lift them up and give them that opportunity they need to take care of their kids and succeed in life,” she said.