As the CEO/President of the Clara White Mission, Ju’Coby Pitman, her Board of Directors and the many homeless and low-income that utilize their daily services needs the HELP of Jacksonville, Florida’s citizens.
In August of this year, City Council Finance Committee eliminated funding from the PSG budget (Public Service Grant) - City Supplemental Grant for the operations of the Clara White Mission daily meal program. Clara White’s annual budget is driven by governmental, church and community support. Currently, the City of Jacksonville funding is critical and vital in ensuring real people (with real issues) have an opportunity to eat a nutritious meal without program stipulations.
Unfortunately, without the $82,011 allocation, this will eliminate the operations of the feeding services at the Clara White Mission. This service is the heart and soul of what Clara White Mission have provided to the Jacksonville community for 110 years. It would be impossible, to rebound from the loss if the funding is not restored.
Annually, Clara White Mission serves over 146,000 meals at a cost of $2.75. Through their effort, homeless and low-income clients participating in the meals program, receive information regarding housing and vocational training programs. To date, over 90% of enrollees in the training programs, first learn about the mission’s comprehensive programs by participating in the meals program.
Approximately 200 persons are served annually through the Mission's housing and vocational training programs. More than 1500 persons have been aided in gaining employment and moved into permanent housing since the inception of these programs. These are individuals that are no longer receiving public assistance and are tax paying citizens.
Aside from the City of Jacksonville Public Service grant program, the Mission's feeding program is funded by the Federal Emergency Food and Shelter Program, and the United Way of Northeast Florida. Last year, the combined support from these agencies funded 52% of the cost to operate their feeding meal program and Clara White raised the remaining 48% through their program-based social enterprise revenue generating services (janitorial service, catering service and café venture at St. John's Cathedral Church), high-profile special events and solicitation of cash /in-kind contributions from the community to leverage grant support.
Clara White Mission has proven their value to the City of Jacksonville. Pitman knows from her 30 years of experience working on the front line, that it is the combination of a continuum of services, public/private funding, partnerships and accessibility that is making a proven and visible difference in their services.
PLEASE, PLEASE, call, and email City Council Members and urge them to SAVE the Clara White Mission programs. Also kindly consider writing a letter to the Editorial department of theJacksonville Florida Times Union!
HERE are the telephone numbers and e-mail addresses to follow-up with each of the City Council Members. Clara White Mission needs your help, support and consideration! If you have any questions, please call Ju’Coby Pitman at (904) 612-8758. Thank you for making a big difference in the city of Jacksonville, Florida through the Clara White Mission.