A new homeless shelter and service center for single women in the western Panhandle is set to open in the next 60 days or so.
Women with Clear Vision’s facility is located at 2316 N. Pace Blvd. Its focus is on homelessness awareness. For co-founder, Pastor Ingar Flagg, this is personal. She’s drawing upon her own personal experience of being jailed for bad checks, and of being homeless.
“I am a woman of many characters, that have become positive characters,” said Flagg. “The Lord blessed me to become an entrepreneur, and now I like to help the women to better themselves and help them get educated.”
Along those lines, the Women with Clear Vision shelter is offering a number of programs that focus on women who have been recently released from jail or from prison.
“We will be offering GED, we will help them with their resumes,” said Flagg. “We will help them to get workforce-ready. We also offer a 90-day program [to] support reentry development.”
Some women inmates very often are released from custody at midnight. As a result, they have nowhere to go. Flagg wants to change that.
“We go into the Escambia County Jail, and if there’s [sic] any women who would like to join our program upon their release, we will go pick them up and bring them to our shelter.”
Women with Clear Vision also works with ECSO to coordinate transportation to the nearby shelter, and work on cutting down recidivism. Similar work is underway with Sheriff’s Offices in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa Counties.
Meanwhile, staff and volunteers are working to get the shelter ready for opening day. The main project is installing an indoor sprinkler system. Fundraising is underway at the non-profit to raise the estimated $30,000-$40,000 cost. But sprinkler system notwithstanding, Flagg says most everything else is good to go.
“Any type of office work, paperwork, resumes, things like that, we are open for that right now,” Flagg said. “We just cannot house them until we’re able to provide them safety.”
The first large event at the shelter is “Feed the Homeless Day” Tuesday from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. More information about Women With Clear Vision is available by calling 434-5252.