FORT LAUDERDALE – On April 17, delegates from Broward Health Community Health Services and the community attended the ceremonial groundbreaking of Broward Health’s new Healthcare for the Homeless Center. The new 7,200-square-foot facility will be located directly north of the current Healthcare for the Homeless Little House at 1101 W. Broward Blvd., and will provide primary care services for the county’s homeless population.
“We do a whole lot with a little,” said Jasmin Shirley, vice president of Broward Health Community Health Services. “We want to say thank you for supporting us. The Little House is going to get a brand new big house.”
Funded entirely through a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, the new Healthcare for the Homeless Center will be a modern facility twice as large as the Little House and will provide greater efficiency in building layout and more exam rooms to increase the number of patients seen.
“Broward Health is going to get more people in a nicer facility,” said Project Manager Leon Woloch, from MBR Construction. “And, it will enhance the beautification of Broward County, which is a positive in every aspect.”
“After 20 years, the Little House is due for a facelift,” said Frank Nask, CEO/president, Broward Health. “You can’t just have a mission statement and not subscribe to it. We at Broward Health believe we are living health care reform, and we are doing everything we can to support the community. We are incredibly proud of this supported effort.”
Said Rosalind Osgood of Mount Olive Baptist Church, who gave the invocation and benediction:
“As a former homeless person, when you don’t have a place to go, it exacerbates your situation, especially if you have health issues that can’t be addressed. This is holistically addressing the needs of the community. Insured or not, you can get health care. It will allow us to build relationships, and we can transition them from homelessness.”
Broward Sheriff’s Office Commander Michael Cal-derin agreed that the center’s holistic approach will better serve the homeless community.
“On behalf of Sheriff Al Lamberti and members of the Broward Sheriff's Office, we salute Broward Health and related partners in this crucial initiative to protect the health and safety of our homeless community,” said Calderin. “All health services will be here. It's a one-stop shop, and that's the best way to reach the homeless community.”
The actual groundbreaking is scheduled to take place before the end of May. The center is expected to be completed in eight or nine months. Once occupied, the Little House will be demolished to create a parking lot for the new center.
For more information, visit BrowardHealth.org
From left, Paul Echelard, senior vice president/CEO, Broward Health; Jasmin Shirley, vice president, Broward Health Community Health Services; Richard Polemeni, director, design and construction.