PANAMA CITY, Fla (WMBB) — Local organizations are coming together to help solve homelessness in the community.
The Panama City Police Department has partnered with Doorways of Northwest Florida, Rebuild Bay, The Salvation Army, and Volunteers of America.
The Police Department conducted a survey with thirty homeless individuals in Downtown Panama City.
The survey revealed that the main issue causing homelessness is the lack of affordable housing, so Rebuild Bay stepped in to assist with that issue.
“What we are trying to do on the police department’s side is take a proactive approach to see how we can assist these folks before it gets to a point where it is out of hand,” said Captain Chris Edmundson with PCPD Professional Services.
The Salvation Army also joined in and provided the homeless with a shower trailer so they could get ready for job interviews.
Doorways of Northwest Florida has played an important role by collecting resources like food, clothing, and transportation.
Director Yvonne Petresovits said they have been able to accomplish a lot with their partnership with PCPD.
“What we do in terms of financial assistance is pay for a down payment to get somebody in, if they need it, and we will also pay the first months rent for them to get them that headstart,” Petresovits said.
PCPD and Doorways said their goal is for everybody to have permanent housing and said that is the only way to end homelessness.
So far they have been able to provide affordable housing for twenty-six people in April.
“Together it’s a great partnership it’s not just the police department and Doorways. We have about 5 or 6 other organizations that are apart of our network,” Petresovits said. “We are all kind of creating that safety net so that we can help these folks that are experiencing homelessness to get on with a productive way of life.”