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Demolition of old water treatment plant structures begins at One Hopeful Place in Fort Walton Beach

Community members and leaders gathered at One Hopeful Place on Wednesday morning to celebrate the start of demolition of the old concrete clarifiers on the property.  One Hopeful Place, a campus changing […]

Community members and leaders gathered at One Hopeful Place on Wednesday morning to celebrate the start of demolition of the old concrete clarifiers on the property. 

  • The demolition project, funded by a $200,000 appropriation from the state legislature, aims to remove the environmental hazard posed by the structures and create space for the possibility of additional shelters and affordable housing.

One Hopeful Place, a campus changing lives to better the community, offers programs and services for those seeking self-sufficiency. Since its opening in October 2016, the organization has served 375 participants, with 55% assisted in finding housing and 20% being U.S. military veterans. Veterans and Okaloosa County residents have priority on admission to One Hopeful Place through an established verification process.

The clarifiers, remnants of a previous water treatment plant, have been dormant for the past 25 years, collecting rainwater and serving as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Their removal is the first step in opening up the property to allow One Hopeful Place to possibly expand its services and continue helping those in need within the community.

  • “We’ve had to wait for this day to knock down these concrete structures,” said Ted Corcoran, president of the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce. “Now, by knocking down the remnants of the former waste treatment plant, we will create a village for people who are trying to change their lives.”
Representative Patt Maney

State Representative Patt Maney, who was instrumental in securing the appropriations funds, had the honor of being the first person to begin the demolition. “Here I have a chance to help One Hopeful Place attack the problem of vagrancy by creating greater capacity to take care of those folks and get them on an upward path,” Maney said.

Brandon Bishop, vice president of Cross Environmental Services, Inc. (CES), expressed his company’s gratitude for being involved in the project. “We’ve done several wastewater treatment plants before. So to see that this was part of One Hopeful Place and what you are doing here, it was awesome to be asked to come look at this,” Bishop said.

  • Donna Morgan, director of One Hopeful Place, shared the excitement felt by the staff and residents. “We’re all excited. We really have been waiting for this to happen,” Morgan said. “It’s going to free up much needed space for the future. Trust the process and watch for the future, because we’re going to do big things and we’re going to be helping a whole lot more people.”

Currently, One Hopeful Place accommodates 50 single men and 17 single women. As of February 2024, eligible participants are required to pay $100 per week. The organization also serves as the cold night shelter for Southern Okaloosa County and offers a day program for those seeking housing.

As the demolition of the initial three concrete structures and four to five out parcels of leftover cement begins, One Hopeful Place looks to the future with hope and anticipation. The organization has submitted another appropriations request for an additional $200,000 in 2025, which, if granted, will fund the demolition of the remaining six buildings located outside the fence.

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“You are saying that they are plans in the future for another high school well my question would why are you wanting for. You see that the schools are are...”
“Is the child still living? Great job saving this baby.”
“Just around the corner in Mossy Head!”
“Called the number listed 850 882 6258 which asks for a mailbox number. Not helpful. Looking for more information on hiring event scheduled for July 24 & July 25”
“The baby floated from their boat about 100 ft down to my boat, where family members seen bathing suit and the wife's sent alex over to get it. When he...”
“Not a good idea, it will block traffic both at entry and exit. There is also too much water drainage that would have nowhere to go and cause flooding. Just...”
“What is an 11 month old doing in the water by itself?”
“Congratulations to you, Dr. Kelley!”
“Agreed. We made several phone calls to get a picture of Mr. Hinely. We were not provided one.”
“It would have been nice to see a photo of Mr. Hinely”