Diane Scott had a vision and a calling in 2017 to help individuals in her hometown of Putnam County. Together with her founding board chair, Celine Essary, Diane developed a business plan on a napkin over lunch at Zoe’s kitchen in Jacksonville, FL. In 2018, Shining Light peer Services received its non-profit status as a grassroots Recovery Community Organization to serve individuals with substance use challenges.
We secured our first building in 2019 thorough a generous donation from Coldwell Banker Ben Bates. Later that year, we received funding from the Peer Support Coalition of Florida to build out the Recovery Community Center and develop peer support services. In 2020 we hired our first peer specialist and began serving individuals and families impacted by substance use in Putnam County. That year we began developing partnerships in our community with organizations such as Lee Conley House, Lutheran Services of Florida, Department of Children and Families, and Neighbor to Family.
In 2020, we impacted approximately 11,000 individuals through outreach and approximately 75 individuals and families were served through peer support services. In 2020, we secured a provisional contract with LSF, our managing entity, in the amount of $63,000, allowing us to expand our services throughout Putnam County. In 2021, we advanced from provisional to permanent provider status with LSF securing a $368,000 contract as well as securing a $112,000 contract with the COC United Way for our homeless outreach and advocacy project. With the help of our partnership with LSF we were able to move into a bigger space and hire and mentor four new peer specialists. We also secured additional partnerships with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, Live, Love, Life, and NE FL Community Action Agency, Prevention Coalition of St. John’s County and the Peer Support Coalition of Florida, which expanded our services and reach.