In an interview with Elliott Steele, Vincent House co-founder, Hannah Bouchey, a Vincent House member, discovered some history of the new Vincent Academy in Hernando County. Four years ago, Senator Wilton Simpson and other prominent figures in the community came to visit Vincent House. In Hernando County, there is a ratio of 1600:1 health care providers to people, as opposed to 800:1 ratio in Pinellas County. This need for providers was the reason for the extension of Vincent Academy to Hernando County. David Lambert (president of NAMI for Hernando County) and Senator Bill Nelson’s aid also came to see Vincent House and saw the need for a Vincent Academy in Hernando as well. Senator Wilton Simpson was able to obtain a million dollars for the new building in Hernando, but 2.5 million more is needed for the construction which is due to begin in January 2018. Meanwhile a 2800 square foot building space is being rented across the street from the site. The Recovery through Work Program opened its doors on June, 5th 2017.
The process of opening Hernando’s rental space has been just like the beginning of Vincent House in Pinellas Park fourteen years ago. The members have helped clean the space, set up tables, chairs, and computers.
Elliott’s vision for the future of Hernando’s Vincent Academy is to have the new building complete and to extend out to reach people from Pasco, Sumter and Citrus counties as well.
Dianne Steele, co-founder of Vincent House, and Justin, Vincent Academy of the Adventure Coast member work side by side.