Groundbreaking event to honor the organization’s supporters and patients while showcasing the future of the 6-acre campus
Miami, FL – According to the Greeks, the word Agape means God’s unconditional love for mankind. Founded by Dr. Jose Hernandez in 1983, the Agape Network has applied this ancient philosophy into a modern evidence-based practice successfully transforming the lives of a most underserved community in Miami-Dade County – formerly incarcerated, homeless, mentally ill or at-risk women and their children. Now the faith-based organization, which has restored the lives of nearly half a million, will be more than doubling in size and capacity to better meet mounting demands.
“Fundamental to having a strong and healthy society, is ensuring that all its members are stable and productive,” says U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, a principal supporter of Agape and featured speaker of the groundbreaking ceremony. “We are thankful to be a part of this invaluable organization with such a notable legacy of restoring families with faith, hope, and love,” added Rubio’s wife Jeanette D. Rubio.
Last year Agape served approximately 1,000 women (and women with children) weekly, through both inpatient and outpatient systems of care. However, CEO Claudio Perez said they still have a waiting list. Part of what makes Agape unique is its whole-person care model that integrates evidence-based physical, behavioral and spiritual treatment and incorporates different programs such as gardening, art, music, culinary arts, dance, theater and equine.
Designed by Bermello, Ajamil & Partners, the idyllic Agape Village Health Center will be a place of refuge and recovery. Expansive at 40,000 square feet and with 10 new buildings, the Bermuda-style architecture of the community is welcoming and presents an ambiance of tranquility. Development completion is loosely slated for spring 2020 and will include a new clinic & wellness medical center, educational & vocational center, supported housing and cottages, preschool and daycare center.
“My firm has been a longtime supporter of Agape’s great work in the community, and we are proud to be donating some of our services to design this new and improved Village that is a national model of integrated care,” noted Architect Willy Bermello who is also Chairman of the Agape Network Foundation Board.
The groundbreaking ceremony will take place Nov. 30 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Invitees include city partners like the Department of Children & Families, Department of Corrections, Department of Juvenile Justice and the School Board, the Agape Board of Directors and sponsors such as City National Bank (CNB) and Mercedes-Benz of Cutler Bay. Bipartisan support for the organization is strong and political leaders from both parties will form the program. Keynoting the ceremony is the honorable U.S. Senator Marco Rubio. Rubio and his wife Jeanette D. Rubio have been deeply involved with the organization and have played a critical role in the development of the new Village.
“Agape’s philosophy of transforming lives and building up communities aligns perfectly with ours at City National Bank,” said CNB President and CEO Jorge Gonzalez. Wife Melinda Brown-Gonzalez, Agape Board Member, added “witnessing the miracles that happen here on a daily basis has had a huge impact on me, and we are committed to helping Agape expand so that it can restore more women and families.”
While the groundbreaking marks a major milestone, it also serves to launch phase two of the capital campaign formally. The first phase concluded with $1.5 in financial and in kind donations. Fundraising remains a priority and contributions are still needed to complete this big project. Commemorative naming opportunities are available at varying prices. For more information or to receive a sponsorship brief visit www.theagapenetwork.org/expansion or contact CEO Claudio M. Perez at CPerez@hcnetwork.org / 305 694-4040.
About AGAPE NETWORK
Serving Miami-Dade County and located at 22790 SW 112th Avenue, Agape Network is a nationally accredited, integrated, community health center that has provided effective behavioral health, substance use disorder treatment, recovery services, and family reunification for more than 30 years. The non-denominational faith-based organization’s 501(c)(3) mission is to “Restore individuals and families to psychological, social, physical, and spiritual health.” To learn more about Agape Network visit: www.theagapenetwork.org.