What's Happening at FKOC


National Homeless & Hunger Week in the Florida Keys
November 14 - 24, 2015

Monroe County Commissioner, Sylvia Murphy, FKOC CEO and President,
Fr. Stephen Braddock, and FKOC Chief Operating Officer, Stephanie Kaple

Pastor Kerby Avedovech, Coral Isle Church


Father Stephen Braddock shares with guests that FKOC is committed to providing services in the Upper Keys

Father Thomas Graf of St. James the Fisherman Episcopal Church

Stephanie Kapple and Rev. Stephen Braddock present Mercy Hardee-Cruz with the First Annual "Sharing Mercy Award" presented in honor of Mercy's compassion and understanding of homelessness and poverty.

Fr. Graf and Rev. Braddock with a small portion of the food collected by local Upper Keys Churches

Photographer, Sheel Sheelman, explains how the Hidden in Plain View Exhibit was developed

Stephanie Kaple, FKOC Chief Operating Officer,
thanks everybody for their attendance and support.




Florida Keys Outreach Coalition 22nd Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon

Our Host and Board Member, Rev. Randy Becker, leads the Opening Invocation

Rev. Stephen E. Braddock, President & CEO of FKOC

Attorney Sam Kaufman, Board Chairman, calls the meeting to order

Monroe County Judge Peary Fowler administers the Oath of Office to the new Board.


(L-R) Dr. Eric Nichols, Rev. Stephen Braddock, Rev. Randy Becker, Jenna Staufer, John Sangston, Niels Hubbell, Dr. Pat Major, William Malpass, Ron Roberts, Sam Kaufman, Jimmy Weekley and Judge Fowler

(not pictured: Rev. Larry Schenk, Jen George-Nichol, Rev. Sarah Fowler)

9th Annual Edward "Capt'n" Kidd Humanitarian Award

Keynote Speaker (and Award Winner), Sherry Read

Rev. Braddock presents Sherry Read with the 9th Annual
Edward "Capt'n" Kidd Humanitarian Award

Client Acheivement Awards

Fr. Tom Sterner, Senior Case Manager

Stepahnie Kaple, Women and Children's Case Manager

Chris Welts, Manager, Neece Center for Homeless Recovery

Ronald A. Ecklund,
flanked by Fr. Tom and Rev. Braddok

Albert "Pete" Roy,
flanked by Chris and Fr. Steve

Kari Mullen,
with Stephanie and Fr. Steve

Kelley Savage,
with Stephanie and Rev. Braddock

Emmanuel Lordmendez,
flanked by Stephanie and Rev. Braddock

Board Appreciation Award

FKOC Team Members Honored for 45 Years of Combined Service! Four Team Members are
celebrating anniversaries in April and May. (L-R) Gina Pecora, 15-years; Fr. Tom Sterner, 10-years; Thomas Gray, 10 years;
and Chris Welts, 10-years. Shown with Sam Kaufman, Board Chair; and Rev. Stephen Braddock, President and CEO

Florida Keys Outreach Coalition 21st Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon
April 17, 2013

FKOC Chairman of the Board, Attorney Samuel Kaufman,
opens the 21st Annual Meeting

Judge Peary Fowler prepares to administer the
Oath of Office to the New Board of Directors

Stephanie Kaple, Case Manager, FKOC
Women's Program

Fr. Tom Sterner, Case Manager, FKOC
Men's Program

Chris Welts, Manager
Neece Center for Homeless recovery

Cecil Bain, FKOC Outreach Specialist, recieves his
Board Appreciation Award upon his upcoming retirement
after ten years of loyal service.

Mary Jane Price, Children's Activity Coordinator, receives
a Board Appreciation Award after ten years of ongoing service
with children of FKOC Moms.

Deacon Richard Turcotte ,Ph.D., CEO, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami
is this year's recipient of the Edward "Capt'n" Kidd Award

Flanked by Sam Kaufman, Stephanie Kaple, and Fr. Braddock,
Amy Rosamando accepts her Client Achievement Award
on behalf of her family

Ramona Taylor is presented with a Client Achievement Award, pictured
here with Sam Kaufman, Stephanie Kaple, and Fr. Braddock

David Biero is presented with a Client Achievement Award by
Men's Program Case Manager, Fr. Tom Sterner, shown here
with Sam Kaufman and Fr. Stephen Braddock.


FKOC Deputy Director, Gina Pecora, is honored and recognized
for her 14 years of continuous and professional service to FKOC.

Florida Keys Outreach Coalition 20th Annual Board Meeting and Awards Celebration

FKOC Chairman of the Board, Attorney Samuel Kaufman, opens the 20th Annual Meeting


Judge Peary Fowler administers the Board Member Oath of Office
Pictured: Ron Roberts, Bill Malpass, Rev. Randy Becker,Dr. Eric Nichols, Rev. Larry Schenck, Paul Clayton, Rev. Sarah Fowler,
Commissioner Jimmy Weekley, Jenny Wolfe, Sam Kaufman, Judge Peary Fowler, and Rev. Stephen Braddock .
Not pictured: John Sangston, Dr. Rose Chan, Niels Hubbell

Rev. Thomas J. Sterner, Men's Program Case Manager


Stephanie Kaple, Women's Program Case Manager

Chris Welts, Manager at the
William M. Neece Center for Homeless Recovery


Tom Budas, flanked by Fr. Tom, Sam Kaufman, and Rev Stephen Braddock
receives his Client Achievement Award.

Tim Berthiaume, flanked by Sam Kaufman, Chris Welts, and Father Braddock, receives his Client Achievement Award


William "Tony" Sakis, flanked by Sam Kaufman, Chris Welts, Fr. Tom, and Father Braddock, receives his Client Achievement Award

Linda Jefferson, flanked by Sam Kaufman, Stephanie Kaple and
Father Braddock, receives her Client Acheivement Award


Nurse Diana Schilling, flanked by Sam Kaufman, Stephanie Kaple, and
Father Braddock, receives the Board Appreciation Award honoring her
selfless and tireless service to individuals and families of FKOC

The Team from Digital Island Media, flanked by Sam Kaufman,
Dr. Eric Nichols, Stephanie Kaple, and Father Braddock, receive a Board Appreciation Award honoring their outstanding efforts and dedication in working with FKOC to create an informational video to help expand our outreach efforts through social media.


FKOC Deputy Director, Gina Pecorra, is recognized for
13 years of continuous and professional service on
Administrative Professionals Day



USS Ft McHenry Sailors Volunteer



(photo by Ron Roberts)

FKOC Board Member, Dr. Eric Nichols and his partner Bill Averyt opened their beautiful home to host a 20th Anniversary Celebration for the Board and friends of the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition. FKOC is Monroe County's oldest provider of housing and supportive services for individuals healing from the underlying causes of homelessness. A public celebration is planned for March 31st at the Gardens Hotel.

(L-R)Bill Averyt; FKOC CEO, Rev. Stephen Braddock; Dr. Eric Nichols
(seated) FKOC Chairman, Sam Kaufman; FKOC Deputy Director, Gina Pecora

...and then, the Pubic Celebration at the
beautiful Gardens Hotel!

(All Photos courtesy of Ron Roberts)

December 21,2011

Rite Honors 14 who died homeless

BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff

Navy Honor Guard Members fold a flag that was flown over the US Capitol to honor the homeless veterans who died in Monroe County this year. The Homeless Memorial Day service was held at Key West Cemetery and sponsored by the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition and One Human Family.

While urging the community to better care for its poorest citizens, the city of Key West, clergy members and the leaders of nonprofits that serve the homeless honored on Wednesday those who died on the streets in 2011.

Conducted for a decade on every Dec. 21 -- the first day of winter and the longest night of the year -- the island's Homeless Persons' Memorial Day this year eulogized 14 men who had endured life on the island's streets without a safe, warm place to call their own.

"They have paid the ultimate price for our nation's failure to end homelessness," said Sam Kaufman, an attorney and board chairman of the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition (FKOC), one of the main sponsors of the service, which drew at least 65 people.

In the deceased's memory, the program included a city proclamation, a Navy Honor Guard, prayers and the sweet notes of "Silent Night" and "Amazing Grace" performed by clarinet player Larry Smith.

Thirteen of the 14 men named in the ceremony died while homeless in Key West, without blood relatives or friends able to accept their remains. They were: Alfredo Balcells, 81; Charles Linwood Brown, 56; William Constantini, 56; Jeffrey J. Hayden, 58; Michael Wayne Pierce, 51; Thomas Saviano-Finchum, 49; Arthur Dale Baker, 58; Daniel Clay Ratcliff, 50; Edward Botelho, 56; Charles Bruce Davis Jr., 52; Herman Lopez-Trigo Jr., 67; Marvin Allen Tinnell, 62; and Kenneth Neeley, 53.

"They are owed our respect and they ask us now to pass it on to everyone we meet," the Rev. Randy Becker said in his eulogy during the service, held in a grass walkway between rows of white stone tombs at the Key West Cemetery in Old Town.

"For too many there will be the longest night tonight," said Becker, of the Unitarian/Universalist Fellowship. "We are called upon to eulogize these lives by changing our lives, by never turning away from another human face or a simple request for love, care and attention."

J.T. Thompson, creator of the One Human Family motto, said there are many definitions of family.

"The souls we see here today are also our family," said Thompson. "They fell through the cracks and ended up without homes, the first step to a loss of health, self-esteem, relationships and even their lives. There are six degrees of separation between any one of us and any one of them."

The service also honored Luis "Gabe" Mardones, 63, who worked at the city's overnight shelter on Stock Island and was killed after a night shift when a county school bus collided head-on with his scooter.

While not technically homeless at the time of his death, Mardones had known what it was like to sleep outdoors, his co-workers said. He worked for FKOC when the nonprofit managed the city's Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter, where he is remembered by the men and women who sleep for his compassion and dedication to the most vulnerable population.

When a basketful of white doves was released, a lone bird lagged behind the fluttering dule and sat silently atop a row of vaults, even after the service.

"That's Gabe," the Rev. Steve Braddock, president of FKOC, said with a smile. Others who knew Mardones agreed, saying he wasn't ready to leave this world.

In 2006, FKOC bought the city's vault in the local cemetery.

Key West last year was one of 152 U.S. cities to sponsor events to honor those who had died homeless.

The service's program noted that some of the homeless who died in 2011 may not be on the list "as it is difficult to gain information on all who died. Some may have been overlooked; a sad reality of homelessness." Others may have yet to be identified, the program said.

"Each one had a personal history filled with joys and sorrows just like us," said the Rev. Thomas Sterner, a program manager at FKOC. "But many had no one to love them or to hold them or hug them."

Sterner expressed thanks to a higher power "for bringing them home where there is no more pain, no tears, no suffering. They finally have found rest."

Those who die indigent or homeless in Monroe County become the responsibility of the county's Social Services Department, which searches for next of kin and owns vaults reserved for their cremated remains.

"What they all had in common were lives deeply impacted by the scourge of poverty and homelessness," said Braddock. "One out of four homeless men sleeping in an alley, a doorway, or in a box has put on a uniform and served our country."



September 27-28, 2011

Fifty of the best and brightest young sailors from all over our country spent liberty in Key West this week while docked at the island city for formal commissioning of their ship, the USS Spruance .

Joining together with Beaver Farm, a New York State charitable organization headed the past 23-years by Rev. Braddock's mother, Nonnie; and, whose volunteers have reached out in help and love to needy people all over our world for over 100 years, the crew took two days liberty to assist FKOC's staff in bringing some joy to homeless little ones in Key West.

Reaching out to give a hand up to those in need is what our country is all about. Everyone who helped, and will continue to help make this project a reality has every right to be proud.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

New playground for Poinciana Plaza among Navy's civic duties

BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff

About 60 USS Spruance crew members fanned out across Key West on Wednesday, volunteering their muscles and mechanical know-how beneath the sweltering sun for an array of community service projects.

"This is part of what they do when they come to town," said Ron Denes, Naval Air Station Key West's executive director and Spruance commissioning committee member.

photo by Sean Kinney

"They give back to the community and leave a mark on the community as part of the Spruance legacy."

Demes spoke while dozens of sailors, dressed in bright yellow Navy T-shirts, formed a relay brigade for hauling 320 bags of mulch into a brand-new playground for families in transitional housing at the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition's (FKOC) Poinciana Plaza complex on Duck Avenue .

Key West will host Saturday's commissioning of the state-of-the-art guided missile destroyer, in a ceremony expected to draw some 6,000 people to the Truman Waterfront, where it is docked at the Outer Mole Pier.

"This is the biggest event since the Flagler railroad came to town," Demes said.

But on Wednesday, sailors power-washed bird cages at the Key West Wildlife Center , refurbished the gun mount at the Military Memorial at Mallory Square , cleaned up yards for Habitat for Humanity and painted auditoriums at the Sigsbee Charter and Grace Lutheran schools.

A sixth work site was at FKOC's housing, where 12 children didn't have any type of playground resembling what the sailors put together in two full workdays that started Tuesday. FKOC had the playground equipment and other supplies donated by The Gilbert Beaver Farm, a New York charity that recently was run by administrator Nonnie Braddock, mother of the Rev. Steve Braddock, FKOC's CEO and president.

Photo by Rob O'Neil

FKOC had a sign marking the gift and the Spruance crew's elbow grease ready to plant on Wednesday.

"I definitely didn't mind doing any of this," Petty Officer 2nd Class Folasade Reynolds, 24, said during a cooling-off break Wednesday. Reynolds, a native of Mount Vernon , N.Y. , said she is well-versed in such service projects, having done a similar kids-friendly volunteer job when she was stationed in Lithuania two years ago. "It was hotter there than here," she said.

Brandi Pope, who shares a bedroom at an FKOC transitional housing unit with her towheaded 5-year-old son, Aaren, glimpsed the new playground on Wednesday with gratitude. The fenced-in playground is safe and close to her home, Pope said.

"It's very nice," she said, as her son ate a cookie presented to him by City Manager Jim Scholl, who helped schlep a giant cooler filled with water and Gatorade for the workers while pitching in himself at various sites Wednesday. Scholl is a former Navy jet fighter pilot and Naval Air Station Key West commander.

"You don't want to just let them go outside," Pope said. "They need to burn off energy."

Aaren gazed up and said, "I like it."

The volunteer efforts are leading up to Saturday's grand event: the formal commissioning of the Spruance.

Capt. M. Tate Westbrook, the ship's commanding officer, said he chose Key West for the historic ceremony because of the island's rich maritime history and its long-standing ties with the Navy.

"In addition, he says it's a town where the crew can fully enjoy its shore leave before undertaking their first mission," city spokeswoman Alyson Crean said. In sailor parlance, it's the best "liberty" port along the Eastern Seaboard, Demes said.

Sailor Reynolds agreed, saying she spent some time earlier this week on a Jet Ski and parasailing during her first trip to the Keys.

But she remembered growing up with playgrounds nearby.

"It's always good to keep them nice and clean," she said, as five neighborhood girls stopped by to peer at the new construction.



(with thanks to Ron Roberts, Fr. Steve, and Chris for photos)

FKOC's 19th Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon

FKOC President and CEO Rev. Stephen E. Braddock and Chairman of the Board of Directors
Samuel Kaufman host the 19th Annual Meeting at the Tennessee Williams Performing Arts Center





Judge Peary Fowler is on hand to swear in the new Board of Directors







...receiving Client Achievement Awards from Stephanie Kaple, Womaen's Program Manager, pictured with Board Chairman, Samuel Kaufman, and Rev. Stephen Braddock, FKOC CEO



...is presented Client Acheivement Award by Fr. Thomas J. Sterner, Men's Program Manager, pictured with Board Chairman, Samuel Kaufman, and Rev. Stephen Braddock, FKOC CEO





Pictured with Board Cairman, Samuel Kaufman; Key West City Commissioner, Jimmy Weekly;
and Rev. Stephen Braddock


Doug Bradshaw

Outgoing FKOC Treasurer recognized for 10 years of dedicated service

St. Peter's Episcopal Church

Rev. Sarah Fowler, FKOC Board member, accepts Award on behalf of St. Peter's



United Way Board member and Monroe County Under Sheriff,
Col. Rick Ramsey


Robert Papke, Financial Sponsor


Kevin Piper, Manager of Publix in Key West


Helen Garcia and Sheryl Graham, Director,
Monroe County Social Services


RN Jean Barber; Nancy Banks, KOTS Director; RN Cheryl Radcliffe and Key West City Commissioner, Clayton Lopez



Chief Tommy Taylor; Nancy Banks, KOTS Director; and Sgt. Linda Simonet



FKOC Deputy Director, Gina Pecorra, is recognized for
12 years of continuous and professional service on
Administrative Professionals Day



Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Visits Florida Keys Outreach Coalition for the Homeless
(Photos by Debbie Zimmerman)

Neece Center Manager, Chris Welts; Men's Program Manager,
Rev. Thomas J. Sterner; Family Program Manager, Stephanie Kaple;
FKOC CEO, Rev. Stephen E. Braddock; Ileana; FKOC Board Chairman,
Sam Kaufman; Board Member, Ron Roberts; FKOC Deputy Director,
Gina Pecora.

Ileana and Father Steve at KOTS

The Congresswoman was impressed by the simplicity and cleanliness of the Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter (KOTS).

Ileana enjoyed visiting the FKOC Children's Acitvity Center.
(L-R) Mary Jane Price, Stephanie Kaple, Ileana and Rev. Braddock.

FKOC Board Member Reverend Sarah Fowler welcomed the Congresswoman to the organization's residential facilities at Poinciana Plaza.

The Congresswoman started the count-down to the Christmas tree lighting and led the group in "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" before she enjoyed a homemade meal prepared by FKOC Clients.

The Congresswoman distributed gifts to over two-dozen children who reside in FKOC's Transitional Housing programs. The facilities provide housing and supportive services for up to 122 men, women and children.


The Congresswoman called the children by name and gave them a special gift!

Stephanie Kaple introduces a youngster to the Congresswoman.

A little guy received a cuddly, new friend from Ileana.

Children who reside at FKOC's Transitional Housing
facilities range in age from 4 weeks to 17 years.


FKOC'S 17th Annual Client Awards Luncheon
April 22, 2009


FKOC Board Chairman, Sam Kaufman,Esq., with
FKOC CEO and President, Fr. Steve Braddock, Ph.D.
Gina Pecora, Deputy Director (background)


Bill Laney (left) named FKOC's Roving Ambassador


Fr. Tom Sterner,
Men's Program Case Manager

Stephanie Kaple,
Women's Case Manager


Chris Welts,
Neece Center House Manager


Claudia Mungia receives Client Achievement Award
from Stephanie and Fr. Steve


Bill Cope with Client Achievement Award, presented
by Fr. Tom and Fr. Steve


Bill Costantini receiving Client Acheivement Award
from Chris and Fr. Steve


Jeanie Rawl receiving Client Acheivement Award
from Stephanie and Fr. Steve








Fr. Tom Sterner, FKOC Men's Case Manager,
Easter 2008 Service at KOTS


Fr. Tom Sterner leads Easter Services
at Sunrise House, March 2008


Chris Welts, Neece Center Manager, presents weekly Journeys Life Skills Group

Homeless Laid to Rest

Members of the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition organized an internment ceremony for 18 homeless men and women who died over recent months without family or friends to claim their remains. 

(Pictued L-R) Rev. Thomas Sterner, FKOC Case Manager; Rev. Ron Paige, FKOC Board Member; Samuel J. Kaufman, FKOC Board Chairman; Rev. Stephen E. Braddock FKOC President & CEO Officiating.


July 25, 2008 ~ Bottlecap Fundraiser
for Women and Children's Program - "Christmas in July"
(and Fr. Steve's Birthday)




...and a grand time was had by All!!



October 2008 ~ FKOC's Kids Make a Scarecrow

Florida Keys Area Health Education Centers - with Cardio Vascular Health and Diet Information - presented monthly at Neece Center

Joyce Wagner of Florida Keys Area Health Education Centers leads initial Smoking Cessation Group at the Neece Center for Homeless Recovery.

The Florida Keys Area Health Education Centers Team with KOTS Director, Nancy Banks (2nd from right)

Louis Fisher of the Care center for Mental Health with Monthly Presentation of STD/HIV Prevention Series at Neece Center