The three-day back-to-school tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Aug. 1, and ends at midnight Sunday, Aug. 3. No Florida sales tax or local option tax will be collected on sales of clothing, shoes and some accessories priced at $100 or less per item, on certain school supplies selling for $15 or less, and on the first $750 for computers and accessories. Click here for a complete list of items.
Vice chair will be Donna Stratford, who retired this year from Northrop Grumman; treasurer will be Seth Riddle, immediate past president and LPL wealth adviser at Space Coast Credit Union.
Joining the board are Lt. Brandon Lanza of Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and Joyce Boudrie, a community volunteer who previously served multiple terms.
Continuing members are Adam Bird of GrayRobinson, Ivy Chong of Florida Tech, Gregory DeRoy of Space Coast Credit Union, Robert Garceau of Harris Corp., Terry Gust of OZ Design Studio and Suzanne Sparling of Eastern Florida State College.
The American Association of Suicidology has renewed its accreditation of 2-1-1- Brevard Inc. for five years.
“This outside evaluation assures that callers to our helpline are being served according to nationally recognized standards for crisis and suicide intervention,” said Libby Donoghue, 2-1-1 Brevard executive director.
Almost 350 calls to 2-1-1 Brevard were classified as “suicide/crisis intervention” in the fiscal year that ended June 30.
The goal of AAS, founded in 1968, is “to understand and prevent suicide.” About 120 crisis centers in the U.S. and Canada were accredited by AAS as of June 2013, and the nonprofit 2-1-1 Brevard has been accredited since the late 1980s.
2-1-1 Brevard helpline specialists have visited six agencies since their “field trips” started in February, including Central Brevard Sharing Center on July 25.
David Brubaker, new president/CEO, led the tour. He emphasized that the center puts “food on the table, clothes on your back and a roof over your head,” as shown in the logo.
Specialists made 674 referrals to the center in 2013.
Next up: Brevard Drop-In Center.
Other agencies visited this year:
- Brevard County Community Action Agency, where specialists made 7,505 referrals in 2013.
- Catholic Charities, 5,388 referrals.
- Salvation Army-Melbourne, 4,466 referrals.
- Housing Authority of Brevard County/Melbourne Housing Authority, 844 referrals.
- Brevard County Legal Aid, 689 referrals.
Previous post: Bread and pastries free for the taking on table in the lobby. Boxes of cereal, cans of beans, bottles of shampoo in a storage room in the back. Rooms with bunks and trundle beds and just a few homey touches like a rug or a quilt.
Four staff members of 2-1-1 Brevard spent part of a recent afternoon touring and learning more about the Salvation Army of Melbourne, where specialists made 3,045 referrals in the past fiscal year.
The “field trip” was the first of a monthly series of site visits to agencies that receive high numbers of referrals from 2-1-1 Brevard.
“The more we know about an agency, the better we can make appropriate referrals,” said Christina Lefler, the helpline supervisor who was among the staff members on the tour.
“After we’ve visited a location and talked face to face with staff, we can better understand what they can and can’t do.”
Communications Manager Belinda Stewart is in charge of setting up the site visits as part of her role in promoting positive community relations.
“Salvation Army South is third on our list of most-frequent referrals with almost 7 percent of all referrals last year,” Stewart said. “So it was an obvious pick for one of our first visits.”
2-1-1 staff toured the Social Services area, including the food pantry, and the Sue M. Pridmore Center for Women and Children.
“We like to thank Capt. Juan Guadalupe and his staff, especially supervisor Joyce Cox, for welcoming us and letting us know how much they value our partnership in helping people,” Stewart said.
More referrals were made last year to Catholic Charities and Brevard County’s Community Action Agency, where visits are scheduled in March and April, respectively.
Helpline specialists deal daily with children’s issues that were measured in the 2014 Kids Count Profile, released this week.
Florida’s state rank of 38th remained unchanged in the “Data Book,” which details the results of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual evaluation of children’s economic well-being, education, health, and family and community.
“Few of our callers are under 18, but many are adults whose reasons for calling directly affect the quality of life for children,” said Libby Donoghue, 2-1-1 Brevard executive director.
“They’re parents and grandparents seeking help for their families.”
Some examples from the Kids Count report on Florida:
• 25 percent of children – or 1,001,000 – lived in poverty in 2012.
• 61 percent of fourth-graders were not proficient in reading in 2013.
• 11 percent of children were without health insurance in 2012.
• 13 percent were in families where the head of household had no high school diploma.
Find a summary of the national and Florida findings here.
Thanks to the Melbourne City Council for tentative approval of $2,266 in funding for 2-1-1 Brevard for the next year!
The city allocated about $45,000 to local nonprofits this week through its Grants-in-Aid program.
Melbourne has been a supporter of 2-1-1 Brevard since 2001, when the three-digit dialing code was adopted.
In June, 2-1-1 Brevard helpline specialists logged 979 calls related to primary health care.
June 2014 Snapshot
Free lunches for children will be served beginning in June throughout Brevard County as part of Florida’s Summer BreakSpot and United Way of Brevard’s Feed and Read.
Click here for BreakSpot and here for Feed and Read.
Meals are available to anyone 18 or younger. Breakfast also will be served at some sites.
Opening dates for BreakSpot sites vary; Feed and Read sites begin opening June 9. Ending dates for the meal programs vary by site.
Parents also may dial 2-1-1 for information on times and locations.
2-1-1′s throughout Florida contract with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to provide information on Summer BreakSpot.
2-1-1 Brevard is a United Way partner agency.
Suppose you want to find help for a friend or relative who lives in Jackson County in the Panhandle? Or in Clay County in Northeast Florida? Or in any other county in the Sunshine State?
Now you can visit www.my211florida.org and search by city, county or ZIP code to find all 2-1-1 databases of community resources and the state.
A United Healthcare grant paid for the “portal” through the Florida Alliance of Information and Referral Services.
2-1-1 Brevard is a member of FLAIRS.
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey spoke June 12 to about 40 representatives of Brevard Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, including four staff members of 2-1-1 Brevard.
Ivey recalled lessons learned from two months as a commander in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 in Louisiana and about his agency’s role before, during and after a hurricane on the Space Coast.
2-1-1 Brevard was represented by executive director Libby Donoghue, community resource coordinator Lakesha McLaughlin, helpline supervisor Tim Carroll and communications manager Belinda Stewart, who also was elected VOAD secretary at the meeting.
2-1-1 Brevard is active in disaster preparation and is supported financially by Brevard County Emergency Management as a partner in providing public information in case of disaster.
Brevard VOAD is a local coalition of more than 50 nonprofit, governmental, faith-based and service organizations and businesses that want to help in the community in the event of a disaster, such as hurricane, flood or wildfire. Learn more at www.brevardvoad.org or www.facebook.com/BrevardVOAD.