This is a question from our Q&A series connected by Infotech.
Today’s GRACE campus grew out of Project GRACE: The Gainesville/Alachua County 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness. The planning process involved more than 200 community members, including homeless and formerly homeless people, nonprofit professionals, health care providers, and housing developers.
A one-stop center where people could meet their basic needs while working to end their homelessness quickly emerged as the centerpiece of the plan. Tom, a formerly homeless man who provided extensive input throughout the planning process, proposed the acronym for GRACE. For the first four years, we used “GRACE Marketplace” to refer to the one-stop campus where a marketplace of services were available - free of charge - to help people end their homelessness. Today, with the expansion of our permanent housing programs, we use GRACE to capture the full range of programs and services we offer to people without housing.