FORT LAUDERDALE — The Edgar P. Mills Multi-Purpose Center, destroyed by Hurricane Wilma in October 2005 has been rebuilt and officials were joined by Mills’ children for its formal re-opening March 31.
The 53,000-square-foot three-story building at 900 NW 31st Ave., Fort Lauderdale, with an adjacent parking garage, is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified. The property is NatureScape certified, using native plants to conserve water.
Broward County employees located at the center worked out of a temporary office located along State Road 7 until the new building was completed.
The center began serving residents in December and nearly 11,000 people have sought its services since then, according to a Broward County statement.
It is one of five Family Success Centers in the county – facilities that are one-stop sources of social services information, referrals and services to assist individuals and families in setting goals, learning skills, and accessing the services they need to build a stronger, healthier and self-sufficient family unit.
The idea of locating one of the centers in the Central Region came from residents in 1977. Edgar P. Mills, then acting director of the Department of Human Services, is credited with making it possible.
“He dedicated his life to those who needed help and he would be so proud to be here today to see this new center re-open,” said Karen Mills-Campbell, his daughter, who traveled from Tallahassee for the dedication ceremony that was also attended by his wife, Patsy Mills.
"No one who needs help is turned away here,” County Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness said at the re-opening. "Families, single mothers, the elderly, veterans find a wide array of services in one central location. The work done here is priceless when it comes to helping people successfully put their lives back together."
These services include Case Management, Emergency Assistance, Counseling and Recovery, Financial, Housing, Employment, Health Care, Dental, Women and Infants (WIC), and Elderly and Veterans assistance to thousands of individuals and families every year.
“I'm inspired by what I see here today. The people who work here at the Mills Multi-Purpose Center deserve recognition. Every day they help people in our community. Every day people who pass through these doors find assistance and are better off than when they arrived,” said County Commissioner Stacy Ritter. “The County Commission knew that when Hurricane Wilma destroyed the original building, a new one must be built to take its place and today we celebrate the completion of that vision.”
For more information on the Multi-Purpose Centers, visit broward.org/Family