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What plans Good News at Noon has for new facility
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Gainesville's Good News at Noon offers free clothes to anyone in need at their shelter on Davis Street. The ministry was started in 1987 by Gene and Margie Beckstein - photo by Scott Rogers

The Davis Street ministry, men’s shelter and meal provider known as Good News at Noon has seen better days.

“It’s just gotten really too small for all that we’re trying to do down here among our homeless neighbors,” Good News at Noon Director Ken Gossage said.

With Koch Foods expanding their operations by buying the land and other nearby property, the ball got rolling for a new center with roughly double the space.

“We didn’t really go out after this, but it’s just something that seems like God has kind of unfolded over the last two years,” Gossage said. “We’re kind of just trying to follow in his footsteps to see where that leads us.”

Gossage said Tuesday, May 11, that Good News at Noon serves more than 100 people a day and has a footprint between 5,000-6,000 square feet.

Though they are still in the planning stages, Gossage said the goal would be a space with roughly 11,000-12,000 square feet. More space would be allocated for the kitchen, dining, meeting areas, the computer lab and more.

“We’re also going to be adding a single woman’s dormitory, which we’ve always had the transitional center for men. So we’re going to add for the women, which is just a huge need in this area,” Gossage said.

Gossage said they usually have a 20-person maximum in the men’s shelter. The plan for the new shelter would be to have 40 beds in the men’s dormitory and 20 beds for women.

Good News at Noon was able to purchase land in the same area — roughly a half mile away at Pearl Nix Parkway and Dorsey Street — which Gossage said was vital because it is a centralized location for the Gainesville homeless community.

“Being that close to the city, there’s a lot more resources down here that they can take advantage of,” he said.

With an original estimate of six to nine months to finish construction, Gossage said opening the new center would likely be in early 2022. Though they have some money set aside, there is still roughly $2 million still to be raised.

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