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Board Member Donates $250,000 to the First Step Shelter, Inc., during Board Meeting for Safe Zone.

Tue, Jan 28, 2020 at 11:40AM

Written by Kristen Schmutz

Rose Ann Tornatore walked into the First Step Shelter, Inc., Board Meeting Monday Afternoon with a large donation towards the shelters long debated Safe Zone.

Construction costs are a non-existent topic in any further discussions regarding the First Step Shelter’s outdoor Safe Zone area thanks to Board member Rose Ann Tornatore, owner of Wholesale Lighting in South Daytona, who donated a total of $250,000 at Monday’s Board Meeting.

Tornatore donated because “the Shelter needs to have a safe zone,” which is designated for people who are looking for a legal place to sit for a few hours, or those waiting on a shelter bed.

The surprise donation caused an eruption of shock and awe as Tornatore, received a standing ovation, and a myriad amount of thanks and praise from Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick henry.

The donation came with a universal agreeance to approving the Safe Zone at the front of Shelter and estimated to be roughly 3,500 square feet allowing up to 73 people. Tornatore hopes that the safe zone could incorporate some “lush landscaping, concrete base, some sort of cover, cots, fans, port-a-potties, a small shower, security cameras/guard shack with Wi-fi.”

An architect is already working on drawings to be approved by the city manager, and commission in the upcoming months.

The plans for a projected safe zone have been quoted at around $200,00 but Tornatore is trying to receive more funding and/or donations from local builders to help out with the material cost, construction of the safe zone, and other work that is still needed on the shelter itself.

Tornatore stated, “I hope this inspires others to give, we certainly need a lot more help.” There is no confirmed timeframe on completion of the Safe Zone at this time.


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