Public Relations Press Kit Sample: Jacksonville’s Homeless Communtiy

(This is a sample press kit for a hypothetical public relations case including Press Release, Social Media Plan, FAQ/Fact Sheet, and Blog Post.)

Press Release:

HELP FOR DOWNTOWN JACKSONVILLE & ITS HOMELESS

Jacksonville’s 3,000+ homeless population will be given the opportunity to travel to Baldwin to work on a community farm and receive help.
 

May 8, 2014- Complaints from developers about the homeless population in downtown Jacksonville sparked discussions, private meetings, and eventually planning sessions that led to the creation of J-H.O.T. (Jacksonville’s Homeless Opportunity Team). J-HOT is composed of Jacksonville residents who possess the ideas, passion, and resources to assist and eventually decrease Jacksonville’s homeless population by researching, developing, and executing the building of a recovery facility and community farm.

The team researched and discovered that a large percentage of the homeless population in Jacksonville were suffering from mental disabilities and life-hindering addictions and can only be helped with attention and purposed recovery programs. With other research showing that the Duval County community was suffering from a lack of environmentally ‘green’ practices or implementation of locally grown food throughout schools, government buildings, and local businesses, J-HOT’s vision began to form.

100 acres of property in Baldwin (the far Westside outskirts of Jacksonville) was purchased by J-HOT in January of 2014 to be the location of what the team is calling the ‘J-House’. The team met with land developers and architects to design a state-of-the-art farm-style facility complete with housing, kitchen, educational, recreational, health, and therapy facilities for over 3,000 residents. The facilities have already been under construction since February 2014 and are projected to be completed by November 2014. Local residents of the Baldwin community have been reassured that security and safety for the community and the J-House residents are of top concern for J-HOT; Town of Baldwin mayor Stan Totman, 51, said, “I know that there is great potential for the J-House…[We are] excited to see the property put to good use.”

In addition to the care facilities for the homeless, the team has set aside over 50 acres of land for farming. It is J-HOT’s dream that the residents of the J-House will be taught the skills and techniques of farming and that they will work together to safely farm and harvest fruits and vegetables, and also to safely and humanely take care of livestock that will produce fur, eggs, and meat. All of the harvest from the farm will go back into the kitchen at the J-House and also out into the community of Jacksonville to promote the use of local grown food.

The plan of J-HOT is to have a shuttle that will travel back and forth from the downtown area to the J-House property to transport those homeless residents who are willing to seek the help and safety that it provides.

Organizations like the Clara White Mission, the Sulzbacher Center, and the City Rescue Mission have already teamed up with J-HOT. Therapists, organizers, trainers, workers, and volunteers from these 3 Jacksonville homeless facilities will all be given the opportunity to work at the J-House and contribute to the organization.

Expectations for the J-House include Jacksonville downtown development for the short-term, and drastic life change in the Jacksonville community for the long-term. The J-HOT team hopes to bring their plans to other cities with great homeless populations in order to spread opportunity throughout the country and throughout the world.

___________________________________________________

Social Media

Hashtags: #JHOUSE #JHOT

Facebook: Information on progress of facility development, how to be a resident, how to donate, or how to volunteer. Photographs of the facility, productive residents, volunteers/team members, the farm, or the products of the farm in the community.

Twitter: Twitpics (photographs) of facility, productive residents, volunteers/team members, the farm, and the products of the farm in the community. Networking and constant communication with volunteers, donors, and the community. Encouraging local businesses to donate, send employees to volunteer, and incorporate J-House produce/products into their company

Instagram: Photographs of facility, productive residents, volunteers/team members, the farm, and the products of the farm in the community. Utilizing the #JHOUSE hashtag so volunteers and consumers can organize photographs of events and experiences.

*Monitor all social media platforms continuously for questions, comments, concerns, encouragement, or negativity.

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FAQ/Fact Sheet

Who is J-HOT? Jacksonville Homeless Opportunity Team was developed in the Summer of 2013. It is composed of 25 private donors, researchers, and developers.

Where did the idea for the J-House come from? Downtown development for Jacksonville is a very hot topic thanks to events like One Spark, and one of the recognized hindrances was the overwhelming homeless population. J-HOT met and decided to take action. Eating locally grown food and participating in environmentally safe consumption is also a hot topic in society, so combining both needs makes J-House an ideal place to help out.

How do I get to the J-House? Those in need of help can meet at 100 State Street in downtown Jacksonville to ride a shuttle that transports 2 times a day: 10AM & 4PM. The address is 100 Acre Woods Drive in Baldwin, Florida.

What type of facilities does J-House have for homeless residents?

  • Dorm-style housing and bathrooms
  • Full cafeteria-style kitchen
  • Learning/education labs and classrooms with computers and a library
  • Recreational facilities including a basketball court, swimming pool, and amphitheatre
  • Health facilities including dental clinic, pediatrician, and general practice doctor
  • A mental health counseling center including therapy rooms

Who can come to the J-House? The J-House is open to any person or family in need of a safe place to stay, recover, learn, or get help. It is also open to anyone willing to volunteer.

When was the J-House developed? The land was purchased in January 2014, development began in February 2014, and the facilities are projected to be completed in November 2014.

What kind of things are grown on the farm? Fruits including: pears, plums, oranges, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and more. Vegetables including: green beans, cabbage, squash, greens, potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, and more.

How long can residents stay at the facility? Each individual must go through a specialized ‘plan’ with a counselor. Each resident is guaranteed a week-long stay and further admittance will be approved on an individually contracted work release basis. Residents are free to come and go at will.

What is the security like at the J-House? The facility is protected 24 hours a day with a specialized security team that patrols the grounds and the perimeters. The perimeters are marked off with an electrical fence for extra security.

___________________________________________________

Blog Post

LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE

Have you ever had a dream that seemed so impossible that you just laughed at it?

Last Spring, we over here at J-HOT were sitting and having a coffee-shop conversation in the local Jacksonville favorite Bold Bean. Our (now) team members started with the clichéd phrase “What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?” and then laughed while dreaming up outrageous plans for Jacksonville. Through continued coffee shop discussions, a hundred “What if..?” and “What about..?” group text messages, we eventually realized that we had all that we needed to make one of these outrageous plans come to be.

We got a plan: to help the homeless.

We got a name: J-HOT (Jacksonville Homeless Opportunity Team)

And then we got busy.

At 9 AM this morning, your friendly neighborhood J-HOT proudly released its press announcement detailing all that we’ve been up to. J-House is coming to full fruition out in Baldwin as builders are construction the dream homeless shelter for the Jacksonville homeless population (which peaked 3,000 in 2013). The facility will be open just in time for Thanksgiving 2014, where volunteer lists are already being filled with excited and enthusiastic people willing to serve. You can find out about all the details when you read the press release here.

After the press release, Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown tweeted, “It’s incredible what willingness can accomplish. #JHOUSE”

Unfortunately, J-HOT was a tad bit late to participate in this year’s extremely successful One Spark crowd funding event. One Spark took place in the middle of April but all loose ends were not tied up until the beginning of May. There are definitely hopes that next year, J-House will be a huge contender in the One Spark event and garner lots of attention from the Jacksonville community.

So now, one year later, we’re no longer laughing at the impossibility of it all, but we’re laughing with joy and excitement over its reality. J-HOT’s advice? Stop laughing at those wild dreams, friends, and make them happen!

Keep looking out for more posts about J-House and be sure to hook up with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

2 thoughts on “Public Relations Press Kit Sample: Jacksonville’s Homeless Communtiy

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