Good News at Noon will soon move into a new facility on Dorsey Street with twice the capacity of its Davis Street building.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct.8, to christen the 12,000-square-foot facility providing meals and transitional housing for Gainesville’s homeless community.
Director Ken Gossage said he hopes for a full transition to the new facility by the end of the month.
Started 35 years ago by Gene and Marjorie Beckstein, the 979 Davis St. center serves roughly 110-120 people between two meal times.
Good News at Noon currently has 20 beds for men and 10 beds for women, but they are planning to double that number in the Dorsey Street facility.
“We’re really just looking for those who are tired of living on the streets and want change in their life to make it a permanent change in their living circumstances and everything else,” Gossage said.
Because of the limited capacity now, Gossage said a person with a job would receive priority because the shelter feels those who are employed “are trying to do what they can to move on, so we want to help them with that process.”
“In the new building, we’ll probably have a track of, ‘OK, this person wants change. They want to get off the streets, but they’re just not ready to go to work yet.’ So we’ll spend whatever time, one to six months, kind of getting them in a position where they can go to work full-time,” Gossage said.
Koch Foods got approval from the Gainesville City Council in December to expand its operations in the area including the current site of Good News at Noon.
Gossage said Koch Foods allowed the shelter to stay in their current spot until the new facility was finished. The director previously told The Times finding a nearby spot roughly a half mile away was critical for providing resources to the homeless community.
The new space will have a handful of areas for meetings, a laundromat and a computer lab replete with at least a dozen computers.