The ARC Nassau has broken ground on an exciting addition to its Nassau County campus with the addition of an Outdoor Experience Center (OEC) that will benefit more than 100 members of The ARC Nassau community with the inclusion of a ¼ mile exercise walkway path and Basket Ball Court in its first of several phases. The ARC Nassau community of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the entire ARC Nassau staff is excited about the expansion of the campus, providing a safe environment for exercise, opportunities for social engagement and advancement of developmental skills!
Paul Bussell, the Executive Director of the ARC Nassau stated, “What is also so great about this expansion project…. is the positive input, support and donations already being provided in an overwhelming ‘win-win’ scenario by Nassau County and area businesses, companies, organizations and the people of our areas of support for the individuals that we serve so diligently!”
The ARC Nassau is a charitable State of Florida and Federal Non-Profit organization providing charitable learning programs, job skills development and employment, and transportation services to our adults with many development disabilities, to maximize their independence at home as well as in our communities for more than 45 years.
To learn more about this outstanding multi-phase project, and how “YOU” can be a part of it, please call The ARC Nassau at 904-225-9355, or online at www.TheArcNassau.org, or on Facebook.
Community Hospice & Palliative Care will be offering a new grief webinar called Understanding and Navigating Through Grief that is being held this Thursday, June 18th then Monday, June 22nd then again twice in early July. Please click the link on the flyer below to register.
Community Hospice & Palliative Care will also continue to offer the Coffee and Conversation video group for anyone grieving the death of a loved one. This is a weekly video session that starts with a brief presentation about an aspect of grief by a bereavement counselor and a discussion with all involved. This is mutual support and education. Please call (904) 407-6464 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to register. Community Hospice & Palliative Care will send you easy to follow instructions on how to connect to the meeting through video chat or phone. Participants can also call in with a cell phone or land line.
The Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida's fourth installment of the 2020 Local Focus. Lasting Impact.™ Moments Recognition is dedicated to The Arc Nassau. The Arc Nassau created an innovative component to their Job-a-Palooza event that matches employers with future employees who have disabilities. The student participants in this event were selected through a partnership with the Nassau County School District.
The 11 local and regional employers who participated in Job-a-Palooza provided performance task demonstrations of essential job functions, and the student participants were then invited to demonstrate their skills by completing the same job task. This event was the first of its kind in Nassau county and is designed to address some of the communication barriers that individuals with disabilities might face in a traditional job interview or job fair environment by providing skills-focused interactions and peer mentors for the student participants.
The Arc Nassau
The Arc Nassau plans to expand this program next year and they have already received inquiries from new business partners who are interested in hiring people with disabilities. In addition to expanding the program next year, The Arc Nassau is developing a partnership with the Nassau County Chamber of Commerce and Nassau County School District to connect students pursuing work opportunities directly to employers.
“By using student peer mentors as guides during the Job-a-Palooza event and a performance-based job fair rather than a networking-based job fair, our goal is to reduce some of the barriers students with disabilities might face when seeking employment. Job-a-Palooza allowed us to break down some preconceived notions of abilities with local employers. This new annual event will continue to provide a creative way to open more employment opportunities for the individuals we serve.” Paul Bussell, Executive Director, The Arc Nassau.
About the 2020 Local Focus. Lasting Impact.™ Moments Recognition Program. This post is the fourth in our 2020 Local Focus. Lasting Impact.™ series. Through this program, The Nonprofit Center will recognize a total of seven local nonprofit organizations for their programs and services that have created a lasting impact in our community.
Check out previous winner announcements here:
Week 1 – Youth Crisis Center, COVID-19 Innovation
Week 2 – Feeding Northeast Florida, COVID-19 Collaboration
Week 3 – Ability Housing, Social Innovation
In 2011, the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, partnered to create the the Local Focus. Lasting Impact.™ initiative to help nonprofits connect with the community and each other. The initiative includes marketing materials for nonprofits to use as well as the signature awards program to highlight the achievements of nonprofits in the Northeast Florida area.
In 2020, due to the unique circumstances created by COVID-19, The Nonprofit Center expanded the program to recognize five Local Focus. Lasting Impact.™ moments in addition to two Local Focus. Lasting Impact.™ awards in the categories of Collective Power and Social Innovation. Each of the five organizations recognized with the 2020 Local Focus. Lasting Impact.™ Moments received a $750 cash award, sponsored by Jessie Ball duPont Reflective Practice Endowment Fund at The Community Foundation For Northeast Florida. The Collective Power and Social Innovation award winners each received a $1,250 cash prize, sponsored by Florida Blue, a documentary film donated by WJCT, and an additional cash prize of $1000 to create and deliver a Learning Lab, sponsored by Community First Credit Union.
Governor Ron DeSantis Announces State of Florida to Begin Disbursement of CARES Act Funds to Counties
Funding will be disbursed to counties with populations below 500,000
Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the State of Florida’s plan to disburse up to $1.275 billion in CARES Act funds to counties with a population below 500,000. The United States Treasury previously disbursed over $2.472 billion in funding to all counties whose populations exceed 500,000 in Florida. Using a phased approach, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) will distribute funds to the remaining counties, beginning with an initial disbursement of 25% of each county’s allocation.
“Starting in March when we initiated our response to COVID-19, we knew that the only way to keep Floridians safe was to work closely with our partners at the local level,” said Governor DeSantis. “As we have reopened in a safe, smart, step-by-step way, we have had local support at every juncture. I’m proud that today, we are able to provide funding back to these counties, so that they can really begin their recovery from this virus. We thank President Trump and our federal partners for providing this relief to Florida.”
“From the beginning of this administration, we have shown our commitment to cutting red tape and getting funding out the door, as demonstrated by paying out more than $2.4 billion in hurricane recovery funding since January 2019, and more than $450 million since March 15,” said FDEM Director Jared Moskowitz. “Throughout our COVID-19 response, we have once again used every available resource to keep Floridians safe and support our local partners. We are ready to hit the ground running on this CARES Act funding, which we know will be a critical resource to Florida’s recovery.”
To receive the disbursement, county governments must sign a funding agreement with the Division of Emergency Management stating:
Counties should contact the Division of Emergency Management to enter into the funding agreement to receive the disbursement of funds. Counties may also submit a request to FDEM for additional funds in excess of their 25% initial disbursement on a reimbursement basis for expenditures eligible under the CARES Act.
All counties, including counties that already received direct payment from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, should provide funds to municipalities located within their jurisdiction on a reimbursement basis for expenditures eligible under the CARES Act and related guidance.
For more information on the CARES Act, including guidance and frequently asked questions issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, see HERE.
As the major safety net organization for Nassau County residents in need, Barnabas Center is on the front line of helping residents in need during the COVID-19 crisis. Services offered to Nassau County residents with low to moderate incomes include food assistance, financial assistance and urgent medical and dental care.
Food Assistance: A short-term supply of food is provided that may include produce, dairy, meat and nonperishable items, depending on availability:
Mobile Food Distribution:
Medical and Dental Care: We provide medical and dental care to adults who are uninsured and do not have a primary care doctor. Please contact us to discuss. For more information about our health services, visit www.barnabasnassau.org/get-help/health-services.
For information about available assistance and eligibility, contact Barnabas at (904) 261-7000, visit www.BarnabasNassau.org, or follow our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/BarnabasNassau. For your safety and others during the pandemic, please call Barnabas for a telephone pre-screening for financial assistance, food stamp and/or Medicaid applications before visiting the office.
Nassau County Emergency Management (NCEM) wants residents to be mindful of COVID-19 and infection control measures while preparing for the 2020 Hurricane Season which started Monday, June 1st, and lasts through November.
One of NCEM’s major planning issues each hurricane season is ensuring sufficient public shelter space for evacuees from within and outside of our county. Nassau officials have identified 12 locations throughout the county for emergency evacuation shelters and plans have been developed that include strategies and timelines for staffing, supplying, and opening sufficient space to safely house those needing shelter during a disaster.
This year, however, social distancing measures will reduce maximum capacities for public shelters and shelterees will be expected to wear cloth masks, have their own supplies, and assist with infection control measures. All shelter staff members and clients will be subject to health screenings with temperature checks at initial check-in and daily thereafter. Anyone with signs of illness or a fever will be isolated from others while in the shelter.
This hurricane season requires special planning considerations and different rules because of the pandemic. Residents who can travel out of an evacuation area and stay with family and friends or in other safe lodging, should plan to do so. An austere public evacuation shelter should be the choice of last resort.
Prepare now. Know your zone and how to safeguard your home. Plan for extended power outages and stock up on post-disaster supplies in case stores are closed. Make a go-kit with personal supplies and copies of documents (e.g., special foods, medications, veterinary records, insurance policies, preevent photos of property). Realize that evacuations don’t end as soon as the high winds and storm surge subside – residents will have to wait for the area to be declared safe to return and begin cleanup and recovery activities. Make sure you, your family, pets, and neighbors have a plan to stay safe and healthy this hurricane season.
On January 2, 2020, Nassau County announced the kick-off of a long-range parks, recreation, and open space master plan for the entire County, with the goal of the plan being complete in the fall of 2002.
The County secured the services of the parks planning firm Barth Associates, LLC, to evaluate the existing parks and recreation system; conduct a County-wide needs and priorities assessment; develop a long-range parks and recreation vision; and work with the County to develop a fiscally sustainable implementation strategy for capital improvements, operations, and maintenance.
The recently-completed Needs Assessment phase of the project incorporated a number of public involvement forums to make sure that the planning process was citizen-driven, and that every resident had an opportunity to participate. These included:
The information received from these events, meetings and surveys – along with park visits and evaluations, a level-of-service analysis, and review of existing reports – provided the data necessary for Barth Associates to project the parks and recreation needs and priorities of County residents. This approach ensures the parks, recreation, and open space master plan is truly representative of all the citizens of Nassau County and not just a select few.
On Monday, June 8, 2020 at 5:00 p.m., Dr. David Barth will present the findings from the Existing Conditions and Needs Assessment phase of the project to the Board of County Commissioners. The Workshop Meeting will be held in the Commission Chambers located at 96135 Nassau Place, Yulee, FL 32097. The meeting is open to the public with limited seating, however residents can also participate remotely by watching the meeting live at www.nassauclerk.com/watch-meetings and submitting comments to email@example.com or calling (904) 530-6009 and leaving a message. Residents can also use these two methods to request a call during the meeting.
We encourage all Nassau County residents and organizations to participate in the meeting to hear Dr. Barth’s presentation to the Board regarding his team’s effort to create a world-class parks and recreation system master plan for the citizens of Nassau County.
If you have any questions, please contact the County’s Planning Department at (904) 530-6300.
At a press conference this afternoon, Governor Ron DeSantis announced Phase 2 of Florida's economic reopening will begin on Friday, June 5th.
Bars and pubs may on Friday operate at 50 percent capacity indoors and at full capacity outdoors, and entertainment businesses such as movie theaters and bowling alleys can open at 50 percent capacity beginning on Friday as well. Personal service businesses such as tattoo parlors may reopen as well, and people can begin gathering in groups of 50 or less, starting Friday.
DeSantis discussed widespread coronavirus testing, the nursing home response, antibody testing, theme parks, hospitalizations and the Florida university system hosting a June 23 presentation with plans for reopening.
He said there has been a 50 percent reduction in intensive care unit hospitalizations from April 12 to June 2, and over one million Florida residents have been tested for COVID-19.
Florida now has more than 58,700 total positive cases of coronavirus and over 2,500 deaths across the state, according to the Florida Department of Health dashboard.
See the entire Executive Order 20-139 below.
Ms. Jacquelin Sims is looking forward to starting another great chapter at Hilliard Elementary School. She has proudly accepted the position of Assistant Principal for the 2020-2021 school year. She is a passionate educator who is eager to work with staff members, parents, and the community to support students.
Since childhood Ms. Sims always knew that her dreams were rooted in education but she had no idea the roots of Hilliard Elementary School would also hold her wings. In 2011, Ms. Sims graduated Florida State College at Jacksonville with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and accepted her first teaching position at Hilliard Elementary where she taught alongside many of the teachers who gave her such a solid foundation 9 years earlier when she attended HES as a student. While teaching 3rd and 4th grade her desire to support students and fellow teachers ignited a fire that led her to pursue a degree in educational leadership. This spring she graduated from the University of North Florida with a master’s degree in educational leadership and is ecstatic to lead in the same school that taught her what it truly means to love kids first.
For almost a decade Ms. Sims has worked diligently to collaborate with peers, establish lasting relationships with students and their families, and support her community. She is thrilled to continue her career at Hilliard Elementary and looks forward to a wonderful year leading alongside Mrs. Loudermilk.
The Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) is launching “JAX Airport Cares,” a program designed to protect the health and safety of passengers when traveling through Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) and minimize the spread of COVID-19, prior to the summer travel season.
“Aviation is one of the industries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic,” JAA CEO Mark VanLoh said. “Before people will travel again, they need to have confidence that airports, airlines and TSA are doing everything we can to protect them.”
While many procedures were in effect at the start of the COVID-19 crisis, these enhanced protective measures are currently in place for the well-being of travelers:
“In the interest of TSA frontline workers and traveler health, TSA is committed to making prudent changes to our screening processes to limit physical contact and increase physical distance as much as possible,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “We continue to evaluate our security measures with an eye towards making smart, timely decisions benefiting health and safety, as well as the traveler experience.”
Anyone flying through Jacksonville in the near future is encouraged to visit the JAX website at www.jaxairportcares.com to learn what the airport, TSA, and airlines are doing to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure while traveling.
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