The Florida Institute for Community Studies (FICS) is losing its lease from Hillsborough County

migrant children learning at FICS

A nonprofit that provides services to migrant communities is losing its lease.

Since 2016, the Florida Institute for Community Studies (FICS) has leased a Hillsborough County park in Town n Country that had been closed since 2008.

We spoke with Alayne Unterberger, executive director of FICS.

Listen to the full show here:

“Last year they started saying no, that they would only give us one year.

“So for the past year, I have been trying unsuccessfully to figure out why we can’t stay and what the plans are for the building and what maybe we could improve if there’s a problem.

“And I’ve gotten nothing from them.

“Last Thursday was supposed to be our last day, the seventh.

“We had divine intervention from an assistant county or district administrator who had a Zoom with me and told me that she wouldn’t negotiate another month until we could find a place to go or figure this out.

“She requested I do a lot more reports.

“That’s fine. I mean, I have other things to do.

“But we’ll do the reporting, of course.

“However, yesterday (9/11) — and I haven’t released this to the press yet — I received a 30-day vacate notice from Parks and Real Estate, saying we had to be out by October 11th and that there could be nothing of FICS left in the building.

“And it sounded very final.

“They want me to sign it and return it. I have not signed it yet. I’m still trying to understand what the letter means and get back to the intermediary.

“But it’s very strange.

“I mean, we’ve been out there providing food.

“This is Suicide Prevention Month.

“We do teach youth mental health first aid. We’re the only provider who does youth mental health first aid in Spanish for the Latino community and providers who provide services in Spanish because the language we use with youth is really important.”

Alayne Unterberger on WMNF

Watch this interview:

Also on Tuesday Café: Suicide Prevention Month and changes to higher education in Florida

Also on Tuesday Café (12 September 2023) we spoke about two other issues: September is Suicide Prevention Month and college faculty are leery of coming to Florida because of changes to higher education in the state.

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