Dr. Jill Pable, professor and Kenan Fishburne, assistant professor in the Department of Interior Architecture and Design have provided pro bono interior design consultation for Tallahassee’s Kearney Service Center, a new 36,000 220 bed emergency homeless shelter that opened April 5. This comprehensive facility serves homeless men and women providing lodging and dining spaces, a medical clinic, GED classrooms and case manager support. Working alongside the firm Clemons Rutherford and Associates Architects, Pable and Fishburne provided guidance on color, lighting, interior finishes, art, furnishings and environmental signage. The concept for the facility is ‘doorways to the future’ that is expressed through signage and color specifications throughout the space as well as a custom art sculpture located in the 20 foot tall central atrium by Judy Rushin, associate professor with the FSU Department of Art.
“The large, colorful sculpture uses the forms of doors and windows to represent passage, transition, and opportunity.”
“It represents doors and windows through a spectrum of colors, symbolizing how all who enter are moving toward a new phase in their lives.”
The grand opening of the center represents the merger of The Shelter and adjacent Renaissance Community Center off West Tennessee Street and a new approach in how the homeless receive care. Between 400 and 500 people patiently waited for a chance to step inside the new 24-hour homeless facility located at 2650 Municipal Way, just off West Pensacola Street and steps away from HOPE Community.
Rick Kearney, whom the center is named after, couldn’t have been happier. The self-made millionaire and CEO of Mainline Information Systems will finally get to see his vision for helping the homeless be well received by many, including the homeless who’ll be using the facility.
Unlike the outdated and overcrowded quarters at The Shelter, one wing is reserved for women in the new facility. Another is dedicated to men. It has a full kitchen and play area for children, and an on-site clinic for medical care and minor procedures.