FSCJ interior design program supports youth community housing initiative

FSCJ Interior Design Professors Theresa Menotte and Laurie Taylor and their students have volunteered to help create housing for homeless youth.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida State College at Jacksonville Interior Design Technology Associate in Science faculty and students are working to make a difference in the community. Working with PILLARS Plus, the mission is to create modern, transitional housing for homeless youth in the community.


PILLARS Plus is a new, nonprofit led by Pastor Tifanny McCall of First United Methodist Church. The aim; to transform a 100-year-old building in downtown Jacksonville into a welcoming and supportive home for young adults who have no place to call home.

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The building, located at 225 E. Duval St., once operated as FUMC’s preschool and has since become a support building for various programs for the church and community. The 12,000-square-foot space is now being updated to accommodate dormitory-style housing for up to 50 young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

FSCJ Interior Design Professors Theresa Menotte and Laurie Taylor and their students have volunteered to help PILLARS create a design concept that showcases the program’s potential, supports the residents’ needs and attracts additional community engagement.

“The people of FUMC and the board of PILLARS Plus are thoroughly impressed and excited about the work that Professor Menotte and her team are providing,” Pastor McCall said. “We are aware that FSCJ is known for empowering the futures of students and communities. PILLARS Plus shares the vision to transform communities in Jacksonville. Our partnership with the interior design program is just the first step in a wonderful collaboration to close gaps and change lives. As Mother Teresa once said, ‘together, we can do great things’.”

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The professors have charged their students to lead much of the design. They will work to create floor plans and furniture layouts. They will select color schemes, lighting plans, furniture, fixtures, and equipment specification, and develop 3D renderings. Students will also consider the project budget, sustainability, accessibility and life safety aspects within their concepts.

“This project will require students to use their creativity, technical skills and passion to create a place where in-need young adults feel comfortable, respected and empowered,” Professor Taylor said.

The community is invited to FUMC’s Bicentennial Celebration as they host a Hymm Sing and a special room reveal to benefit PILLARS Plus on Sat., Apr. 29 at 2 p.m. Planning is underway for additional fundraising activities throughout the year. To learn more, please contact Pastor McCall at tiffany@pillars.org.

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Learn more about FSCJ’s Interior Design Technology A.S. at https://www.fscj.edu/academics/programs/as/2389.

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