City Reacts To Rescue Mission Decision - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

City Reacts To Rescue Mission Decision

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Panama City, Fla. -

After the rescue mission says no to Panama City's plans for a community resource center, all eyes turn back to the city commission to see what move they'll make next.

Panama City Mayor Brudnicki says there has been a lot of misinformation out there as far the as the plans for the center are concerned, but you may be surprised on where he places the blame for that.

"Shame on me, I didn't do a good enough job of communicating, or the community resource center didn't do a good job of communicating properly," Mayor Greg Brudnicki said.

In a very candid moment, Mayor Brudnicki admits that the city needs to work harder to inform residents about what the new community resource center will mean for the county.

"Over 35 percent of the people that are homeless are veterans," Mayor Brudnicki said. "These are heroes....these are people that don't have anyplace to go. "They can go someplace to eat but what about transitional housing? So we want to allocate 1/3 of this property to transitional housing."

Mayor Brudnicki says the city will address concerns by angry residents in the neighborhoods surrounding the proposed property.

"We're gonna fence it off, it's gonna have security," Mayor Brudnicki said.

He did acknowledge the possibility of possible disruptions.

"There's always going to be a bad apple in anything that goes on," Mayor Brudnicki said.

Complicating matters more, the Panama City Rescue Mission announced Tuesday that it wants to stay put.

In an interview on Tuesday with News 13, Rev. Billy Fox with the Panama City Rescue Mission said "10 miles outside of town just isn't conducive to what we do as our major function."

"Let's find out if 10 miles really is too far...Let's find out if everyone in the area understands what we're doing.

Mayor Brudnicki says they're still trying to avoid a two shelter setup, but they will continue to try and work out the issues with the mission, because they want them to have major involvement at the new center.

"We want them to be a part of this process...we want them to have all the different social services available there at the Community Resource Center," Mayor Brudnicki says.

He says the mission does admirable work, but the new center may be able to better assist a homeless population that continues to grow.

"They're trying to do so much with so little downtown, but with the right facility and the right management it can happen," Mayor Brudnicki said.

The city has a 60 day due diligence period in which they will fully examine the property and the impact, but Brudnicki says the task force, which has been searching for property the past 18 months, says this is the best choice