Representatives from the Monroe County Health Department receive an appreciation award from the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition (FKOC) for their work in the homeless community on April 27 at the Tennessee Williams Performing Arts Center in Key West.
From left: Jean Barber, registered nurse with the Monroe CHD; Nancy Banks, director of the Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter; Cheryl Radcliffe, registered nurse with the Monroe CHD; Clayton Lopez, Key West city commisioner and specialist with Monroe CHD's HIV/AIDS prevention program; FKOC Board Chairman Samuel J. Kaufman; and the Rev. Stephen E. Braddock, FKOC President and CEO.
Monroe County Health Department Provides Hepatitis Shots, Flu Shots, and HIV Testing for Homeless
(Photo Couretsy of FKOC)
(L-R) Jean Barber, RN., MCHD Hepatitis Prevention Program; Nancy Banks, KOTS Program Manager; Peggy Ward Grant, MCHD HIV Prevention; Cheryl Radcliffe, RN., MCHD Hepatitis Prevention Program.
(Photo by Mike Hentz. Courtesy of Key West Citizen)
Shelter Needed by both Residents
-Key West Citizen, May 16, 2008
This past Saturday morning, a homeless man named Harry walked out of the Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter on Stock Island and caught the first bus to the airport, where he boarded a northbound flight and left Key West.
I know several people who would say, "Good riddance!"
But there's a few things those folks should know about Harry. This 44-year-old ex-Marine now has a job, and he was flown to Minnesota for a week of training and orientation before returning to the Keys to go to work maintaining and repairing commercial dishwashing machines.
In Harry, this community already has a congenial, law-abiding citizen, and now it will also have a self-sustaining, tax-paying, year-round consumer.
While looking for work, Harry stayed at the Key West shelter for the homeless, known as KOTS. He had a safe, clean place to sleep, and he was able to shower daily and keep himself presentable for job interviews.
Harry's story is not an isolated case. On any given day, more than 60 percent of the homeless people staying at KOTS will have worked. They are part of America's ever-growing number of working poor, who cannot find an affordable place to live.
Anyone who has recently been to Radio Shack, Borders, Dion's Chicken, the Waterfront Market or Lower Keys Medical Center quite possibly came in contact with an employee who stays at KOTS.
Restaurants that employ people who stay, or have stayed, at KOTS are too numerous to list, as are the landscapers and building contractors.
All of the aforementioned businesses, and many others, need the people who stay at KOTS for jobs that are often difficult to fill. The homeless people who stay at KOTS need those jobs to provide them with the basic necessities of everyday life. Both the business and the homeless people they employ need KOTS. Key West needs KOTS.
William Laney, Key West