Gainesville Correctional Institution, a medium and minimum-security state prison in Gainesville, Florida, closed on March 23, 2012. The Alachua Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry opened a one-stop center for services including meals, bus passes, job assistance, housing benefits and other services. The facility, now called Grace MarketPlace, began serving prepackaged meals on June 1, 2014 and is adding additional services over time. The former prison facility sits on 38 acres and has 15 buildings that will be renovated to service a growing homeless population in Alachua County that climbed to more than 2200 in 2014. The Center is long in the making with plans that date back 8-years. After a proposed location fell through, the prison closure provided an opportunity to carry though on a vision for a centralized hub of services to people without homes where several different charitable organizations, including Church groups, community organizations, Call to Action, Florida and Organic Growers, among others,can combine resources.
PRISON: Gainesville Correctional Institution
ADDRESS: 2845 NE 39th Ave, Gainesville, Florida 32609
WHEN BUILT: 1991
MOST RECENT USE: Minimum and medium-security state prison opened in 1991 and closed in 2012.
INTENDED REUSE: Facility to transition people out of homelessness. Services include meals, bus passes, and assistance to find employment, housing and disability benefits, emergency shelter and transitional housing.
OWNER/DEVELOPER: The Alachua Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry
PROJECTED COMPLETION OF BUILDING RENOVATION: Unknown
CAPITAL FINANCING: City of Gainesville
STATUS AS OF October 1, 2014: Some services up and running (including an emergency shelter, transitional housing, disability application help, mail, two meals per day and showers) with more to follow.
What is the Grace Marketplace?
Grace Marketplace Opens Dorm For Homeless
October 1st, 2014
The Gainesville Sun
“As homeless center gets a foothold, there’s progress and problems”
Published: Friday, June 6, 2014