Community First! is a project of Liberty Place, Inc. in collaboration with Frederiksted Health Care, and theVirgin Islands Department of Human Services, Department of Health and Housing Finance Authority. Our work is facilitated by gifts from private donors and the St Croix Foundation & Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands. In January of 2021, we opened our doors with just this private support.
Liberty Place is committed to supporting human rights by providing safe and diverse spaces to live, learn, work and engage in community. Our vision for Community First! is a 7-acre campus with emergency, transitional, and permanent supportive housing, earmarked units for veterans, and tiny homes for up to 50 formerly homeless individuals or small families.
We believe in a housing-first approach. This means we minimize barriers to housing and maximize case management to provide the support individuals need to stabilize, grow and make a difference in their lives.
Currently, we have 10 studio apartments with up to two residents each, a kitchen serving hot meals, a garden, and areas for social activities. Many community members contribute to our Hot Meals program. Each resident is required to contribute to the community, earning credit for hours worked.
In addition to housing, our facility also includes on-site medical, mental health and social work care, recovery groups, and job skills training. A case manager is on site to provide linkages to other agencies and engage residents in being proactive in their own growth plan.
Community First! began in 2016 with “Safe Space” Saturday morning clinics specifically welcoming the chronically homeless of St Croix. In 4 years, we served 175 patients and have had over 1,000 visits to our facility, where homeless individuals and their families are greeted with hot meals, medical, dental and psychiatric exams, free prescriptions, showers, new shoes, and clean clothes.
As we build upon our current programs, these support services and enrichment activities will include:
- Financial literacy, life-skills, and employment development
- Community “Kitchen Garden” and artisan training
- Emergency shelter, transitional and permanent supportive housing
- Linkage to care with medical, behavioral health, and dental services
- Culinary arts and food programming
- Group and community enrichment activities
Our vision is a 7-acre campus with emergency, transitional, and permanent supportive services, earmarked units for veterans, and tiny homes for up to 50 formerly homeless individuals or small families. Learn more about our future plans and how you can support here.
As a grassroots organization, we draw our strength from the community we serve. We encourage participation and feedback from our fellow Virgin Islanders and rely on the dedication of our many wonderful volunteers!
Community First! is a project of Liberty Place, Inc. Liberty Place is a 501c3 nonprofit organization in Good Standing with the IRS and the Lt Governor’s office. The organization was founded in 2011 after the murder of a gay youth in Frederiksted, and we remain committed to serving LGBTQ homeless persons among our diverse residents — all in ‘Safe Space’.