Mission House to mark 20th anniversary with community open house


Mission House will mark its 20th year of operation next month by doing what the nonprofit organization does best: opening its doors.

In keeping with its longstanding tradition of opening its doors to those in need, Mission House will welcome community members to its newly renovated facility to thank them for their contributions and ongoing support. Scheduled for Feb. 25, the celebration will recognize city officials and community leaders – among them Jacksonville Beach Mayor Charlie Latham and Chief of Police Patrick K. Dooley – for their support and dedication over the years. Champagne, cake and light hors d’oeuvres will be served, and guests are also invited to tour the facility’s new features.

It’s an event Executive Director Lori Delgado-Anderson hopes will give first-time visitors insight into Mission House’s unique functions and the changes the facility has welcomed over the years.

“What sets Mission House apart is that we’re supported so strongly by volunteers,” Anderson said. “More than 500 people do a lot of day-to-day work, including one-on-one time with clients and patients. For such a small organization, we’re able to do so much under one roof. And we can show people in need of our services that they deserve a clean, bright, positive place to be served.”

In 2016 alone, the organization helped nearly 80 men and women find housing and assisted more than 250 new patients, saving the community $350,000 in emergency room costs. Anderson said the greatest changes have come recently, with Mission House refocusing its efforts to help people into housing and communicating their goals and results to the community. One such effort was the remodeling of the facility, which allowed clients the privacy they needed to seek help and medical treatment.

Mission House will also present a dinner for founders Feb. 4, Anderson said, where a $1 million Jim Shields Memorial Endowment will be introduced. Shields was a past president of Mission House and an avid volunteer, and his son and daughter-in-law are the first members of Mission House’s newly established Circle of Hope for donors who give $10,000 or more. The endowment, Anderson said, is to ensure Mission House is around for decades to come to continually service the Beaches area, covering gas, utilities and other necessities of the facility.

As for the immediate future, it is Anderson’s hope that more people will drop by to see what Mission House is capable of — and what it’s thankful for.

“With the open house event, we really want to let everyone know how grateful we are for their support over the years,” she said. “We encourage them to come see what we do because it makes a difference to see what’s done under this roof.”

To learn more about this community open house in honor of Mission House’s 20th year anniversary, contact the Mission by phone at (904) 241-6767, by email at missionhousejax@gmail.com, or online at www.missionhousejax.org