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Old 07-25-2007, 07:00 PM
Location: Living in Paradise
5,702 posts, read 22,734,157 times
Reputation: 2996


This weekend, Governor Charlie Crist announced three new state-owned special needs shelters for persons with disabilities in Marianna, Gainesville and Fort Myers. He made the announcement as he addressed thousands of persons with disabilities and their families at the ninth annual Family Café conference in Orlando. The Family Café serves as a clearinghouse of information about available services to meet their needs and how to secure those services.

The three special needs shelters will be located at existing 24—hour residential facilities for person with disabilities operated by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. The Florida Division of Emergency Management and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities are working to develop a plan for the activation of the facilities as special needs shelters. The facilities are as follows:

Tacachale located in Gainesville – The oldest and largest community for the developmentally disabled in Florida was originally built in 1920, with additional buildings being added between 1947 and 1959. Currently, there are 169 buildings on 550 acres and 474 residents. All residential buildings are equipped with generators for life-sustaining electricity needs. The facility has independent food services and utilizes its own wells for water, with the City of Gainesville as a backup source.

Sunland Marianna located in Marianna — Opened in 1963 at the former Graham Air Force Base, Sunland Marianna has 62 buildings, which include both refurbished and newer buildings. The Cox Medical Center and dining hall meet hurricane building codes. Most buildings have generators for emergency power and independent food service.

Gulf Coast Center located in Fort Myers — Initially opened in 1960 as Sunland Training Center, Gulf Coast Center is located on a 502-acre campus in rural east Lee County with 68 buildings. In 1983, the facility’s name was changed to Gulf Coast Center. The Center has electricity generators for emergency power and independent food service.

These three special needs shelters will be activated in addition to the special needs shelters already available in every county for individuals who depend on electric-powered medical equipment and require basic medical assistance and monitoring.
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