FaithWorks Reopens The Well - Get The Facts!


FaithWorks - The Well

What significant changes have been made for the reopening of The Well? 

  • There will be zero tolerance for loitering and camping outside The Well and across JF Mann -  24 hours a day. This will be monitored after hours by cameras and the BPD. (A fence will be installed soon to cover the porch)
  • All guests will be registered, whether they are new guests or not. Part of this registration process is to be cleared of any outstanding warrants by the Brunswick Police Department and confirmation with any parole officers for anyone on parole. If a guest is on the sex offender registry, they will have to be cleared by the parole office to be within certain feet of churches,  Safe Harbor, and schools.
  • A new electronic sign-in system will immediately flag anyone not allowed to be in the building. 

  • Mandatory mental health and de-escalation training is required for all staff   (first de-escalation training has already been completed, and over 6 hours of training in leading with empathy with the homeless population have already been completed, with more training to be assigned).
  • All guests will be required to meet with the Resource Management team every 14 visits.
  • If a guest does not have an ID, they must either work with Resource Management to acquire one or show proof they are working with another organization to obtain one. If not, they are not allowed to receive services.
  • All guests will be checked against the state-wide HMIS (Homeless Management Information   System). (This is one of the new ordinance requirements, stating that a staff person be trained in this system. We have done this.)

Who do we serve? We serve those who are currently experiencing acute and chronic homeless in Brunswick, GA. Our focus is on those who have a connection to the downtown area due to the presence of family or previous housing. However, we do not turn away those referred to us by Southeast Georgia Health System,  Gateway, Glynn County Police, Brunswick Police, or the Glynn County Sheriff Departments. 

How do we serve our guests? We provide daytime hospitality and resources, which include showers,  laundry, refreshments, respite, resource management, and internet access for job and housing applications.  We provide funding for prescription medications, Birth Certificates, and Government IDs. We also provide transportation when necessary. We allow organizations such as Gateway, Veterans Affairs, and other veteran groups, a variety of church groups, Southeast Georgia Health System, the College of Coastal Georgia (Nursing  Service Learning Classes), The Public Health Department, Coastal Community Health Services, Georgia Legal  Services, and others to provide services and assistance to help bring stability and to help our guests begin to make a plan of action to move off the streets. We also welcome spiritual services, as many churches host events at The Well.

How is FaithWorks funded? FaithWorks is funded solely by the generosity of the people, churches,  businesses, and organizations of Southeast Georgia. While we do get some assistance from block grants through the city, we do not receive any other Government Funds (with the previous exception of COVID Relief funds to assist those who tested positive for COVID to be isolated in motel rooms until deemed not contagious).  We do get some grants from foundations such as the Communities of Coastal Georgia Foundation, Saint Mary’s  United Methodist Church Foundation, Hello Goodbuy, and some family foundations which designate us as grantees. 

How has FaithWorks worked to partner with other agencies in the past, and what will we do in the future to grow our partnerships? FaithWorks openly welcomes any group or organization that wishes to serve people who are homeless. In addition to those listed above, we actively participate in the  Homeless Coalition, Family Connections, Coastal Regional Commission groups, and various ad-hoc groups.  Salvation Army addresses the night needs of 26 people, and Saved by Grace has a capacity for 14 men. We are in frequent conversations with them and with the staff of Hand in Hand (Tiny Homes). We also partner with  Coastal Community Health for the physical well-being of our guests. 

How will FaithWorks address loitering and camping on and around our property? FaithWorks is sending all persons wishing to participate in The Well services to the Brunswick Police Department for  clearance. BPD checks for active warrants and sex offenses to ensure no violent persons are being harbored at The Well. The BPD will have a zero-tolerance policy for loitering and camping on public property near The  Well. In addition, we are working on installing a fence to block access to the porch at night. We cannot patrol the public spaces around The Well. 

What will FaithWorks do to increase security, especially after hours? FaithWorks will be adding new software that every guest must use to check in any time they come onto the premises. This software will be able to immediately flag any individuals that have been criminally trespassed before or who are deemed dangerous. FaithWorks will be adding lighting and cameras to the property to increase security after hours.  These measures, in tandem with the no loitering/camping enforcement by BPD, will make the property much more secure moving forward. 

How does FaithWorks promote upward mobility, and what will FaithWorks do to increase this help in the future? Each guest is required to meet with a member of the resource team every fourteen visits.  Guests may also actively sign up to meet with our team at any time. This allows the resource team to help identify ongoing needs with which the individual requires assistance, as well as ensures the individual continues on an upward path. FaithWorks also recognizes that each individual’s upward path varies greatly.  Some guests require longer to arrive at the point at which they are ready to take the next step. We are aware of the qualifications people need to be approved for Saved By Grace, Tiny Homes, Brunswick Housing Authority,  Gateway Housing, and other programs. When an individual meets those qualifications, we proactively work to provide them with an application and recommendation. If the individual does not qualify, we seek to provide love, support, and services until the person does qualify. Most places have long waiting lists. 

How will FaithWorks help address the pressures felt by downtown businesses? This issue cannot  be solved by FaithWorks alone. We realize we must be a part of the solution, but such large-scale solutions require cooperation with The City of Brunswick. We implore the City of Brunswick to work with our organization to answer the above question humanely. The growth of the downtown community over the past few years has been phenomenal. However, there is also much poverty in Brunswick; wherever the business community touches the impoverished housing community, there is always friction. People who are homeless have always been here due to many factors, but they are often pushed around due to the growth. 

Does FaithWorks wish to move The Well from the current location? We wish to provide 24/7  services in which we can offer shelter and safety to the most vulnerable people in our community. To do that,  we must move, as there is not adequate space to create a shelter where we are located. However, we also need to be as near to the city core as possible because those living on the streets of Brunswick are not going to separate themselves from their grandparents, parents, cousins, siblings, or others who are still vitally important to them but are unable to provide safe housing for them.