COCOA, Fla. — What was old is new again near the heart of Cocoa, as the building that formerly housed Fire Station 1 has been opened to operate as the central hub for Family Promise of Brevard.
What You Need To Know
- Family Promise of Brevard now operates out of a former fire station just east of the Cocoa water tower
- The transformed former fire station also includes satellite offices for multiple nonprofits along the Space Coast
- Classroom space is also available at the center to make it more accessible to the community in Central Brevard County
The transformation from firehouse to office space began in the late summer of 2021 with an agreement between the nonprofit and the city of Cocoa.
FPB Executive Director Tara Pagliarini said it’s been a long but fruitful journey.
“It’s been three years of bringing the community together around what would make the most impact in this space,” she said. “It was so intentional in how we laid it out into a hub of services where we could shelter families if they had lost housing, provide stabilization once they moved into housing, provide prevention to preserve housing at all costs.”
She said in crafting the new layout, it was really important that to “create and convene these spaces where we also have partners in the same space.” That includes Brevard Health Alliance, Early Learning Coalition of Brevard County and CareerSource Brevard, which now have satellite offices at the facility.
“The concept was let’s convene all of those subsystems in the same space and create just this catalyst for community change,” Pagliarini said. “And so, we invited those agencies that were the most requested by the residents of Cocoa and brought them into this space and they readily said, 'Yes, absolutely.’”
The new space held its ribbon-cutting ceremony in April and began welcoming people into the space.
In addition to the services Family Promise of Brevard provides, Pagliarini said the organization is also creating space for programs to come and offer services to those who want to increase their value in the job market.
One such program is Operation Career Launch, led by the Sustainable Workplace Alliance. The program just graduated its second group from the two-week training course that offers free education for adults.
Spectrum News 13 spoke with one of the graduates while he was learning safety procedures to use with lead-based paints, and how to safely put on and take off personal protective equipment.
Christopher Priester said he followed in his dad’s footsteps by going into construction, but decided he wanted to improve his odds of getting a better-paying job to support his wife and two daughters.
“I signed up and it was the greatest decision of my life,” Priester said. “It’s actually a blessing, and it gives me the chance to show other people, especially people that come from my neighborhood, that there’s stuff out here you can do to change your life, change your career.”
For more information about what’s offered at the new FPB home, visit the organization's website.