In 2008, local citizens, concerned about those experiencing homelessness in our area, organized the Okaloosa/Walton Homeless Continuum of Care/Opportunity Inc. The Continuum served as the umbrella organization for coordinating efforts geared to eliminate and prevent homelessness while simultaneously operating Opportunity Place as a shelter for families and single women.
In 2015, the Board of Directors and the stakeholders of the Continuum adopted a new charter that called for the separation of responsibilities. The Continuum became the Homelessness and Housing Alliance (HHA), and the shelter became Opportunity Place, Inc (OPI). Throughout this time, our mission at Opportunity Place, Inc., has remained the same: to help families and single women, who are homeless, become self-sufficient. Since 2008, more than 3,000 children, their parents, and single women have been provided safe shelter and a pathway to succeed.
Opportunity Place is a family. A family that thrives on compassion, respect, generosity, and hard work. It is made up of dedicated staff, volunteers, board members, and sponsor organizations that make the work we do every day possible, rewarding, and fun.
Fiona Devenney, Executive Director
Balon Loften, Associate Director
Felicia Waters, Eligibility Specialist
Sara Day, Shelter Coordinator
Jean Day, Youth Services/Volunteer Coordinator
Laurel Vermillion, Board Chair
Paul Domenech, Immediate Past Chair
James Pitts, Treasurer
Kathy Starnick, Secretary/HR Specialist
“I like youth night because they are fun, and I get to meet new people.” – 8 Yr. Old
“I like youth nights because I can get to know more about people and talk about myself.” – 14 Yr. Old
“I love youth nights because it’s something fun to do. It makes me look forward to Tuesdays and Thursdays, and because of it, it speeds up the week(s). It brings us together. I appreciate it.” – 15 Yr. Old
“If it wasn’t for Opportunity Place, I would have lost my children and my job. Thank you for saving me and giving me hope” – Ms. M
“I was distraught and had no idea what to do. I called Opportunity Place, and they were able to provide shelter, food, daycare, and medications for my child. Thank you, Opportunity Place.” – Ms. L
“While at Opportunity Place, I took a financial empowerment class. I learned the importance of budgeting, keeping track, and paying my bills on time. I also learned the importance of having good credit”.