Housing First, Inc., a local nonprofit agency founded in 1996 with the goal of preventing homelessness in Mobile and Baldwin counties, recently launched the final phase of their Community Connections Network (CCN).

“The CCN is a community resource database that allows all community agencies and service providers working in the homeless sector to effectively and efficiently refer those in need to appropriate resources very quickly,” Michelle Dees, COO for Housing First said. “For the first time, community service providers will be able to know that when they refer someone, the person will qualify for available services and resources right away. Not only will this cut out redundancy (thus allowing the agencies to focus their resources on their particular mission), but will allow those who are homeless – or at risk of homelessness – to avoid wasting precious resources on referral searches that may or may not pan out.”

The Mobile and Baldwin county community outreach teams and 15 Place will be the first agencies to go live. Eleven additional sites will join the CCN network over the next four weeks.

“We are excited to make this change as it is anticipated to assist our community and the agencies that serve it. Great strides are being made to ensure that all area homeless resources are accessible to those in need of assistance,” Dees said. The initiative was outlined and made possible by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Commercial Real Estate Moves

John Delchamps, Associate Broker with Merrill P. Thomas Co. Inc., leased 1,400-square-feet of retail space at 1330 Spring Hill Ave. (Five Points Shopping Center) and 1,575-square-feet of office space at 6941 Bellingrath Road. Both locations will be occupied by Davis & Associates, a new locally owned tax and financial services company. 

According to John Vallas at Vallas Realty, the Mobile County School Board has closed on the five properties needed along U.S. Highway 45 to begin construction of the new Citronelle High School. The properties were operating as ongoing businesses but all the property owners were very cooperative to insure that the new school remained in the heart of Citronelle.

As reported previously, MCPSS Superintendent Martha Peek praised those who sold their holdings to facilitate forward momentum of the project.

“We appreciate the owners of the properties for supporting what will be a first-class high school remaining centrally located in the area,” Peek said.

According to Randy Williams, co-owner of Red or White Wine & Gourmet Center, several plans are in place for the extra space at their new location in the former Smith Bakery building adjacent to MiMo’s new “Media Row” on Dauphin Street.

“This open space will increase inventory, allow us to add more beers, provide a private tasting room and extra area to handle company dinners as well as our own ‘winemaker’ meals. The special event menu is still being finalized but will be done in classic family style for parties of 8 or more. Greater parking and larger bar space should be welcomed by our customers,” Williams said.

The new location is expected to open in September.

Enviro-Master opens in Daphne and Mobile

Enviro-Master, a commercial restroom hygiene provider recognized by Entrepreneur magazine as a top franchise for 2014, will soon open its newest locations in Baldwin and Mobile counties.

Mike and Beth Blevins are relocating from Southwest Georgia to the central Gulf Coast. The hub of their business will be located in Daphne and Mobile, with selected office locations in the final stages of the evaluation process. Enviro-Master will serve restaurants, businesses and organizations throughout the area, including counties from Gulfport, Mississippi to Destin, Florida. A grand opening is tentatively scheduled for the end of August.

Mike Blevins has a B.S. in math and an MBA in international management from Northeastern University. Beth Blevins is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a B.A. in human development and family studies.

To date, 26 franchises have been sold throughout the country. Major metropolitan areas are targeted. Cities with a franchise footprint include: Orlando, San Antonio, Tampa, Houston, Nashville, Jacksonville, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and now Mobile.

“Enviro-Master met all of our criteria,” Mike Blevins said. “We were looking for a business-to-business model that would provide residual income and require reasonable capital investment, while providing an opportunity that is recession-resistant and isn’t technology dependent. The size of the territory was also highly desirable.”

Beth Blevins added, “beyond the business opportunity, Enviro-Master appealed to us because of shared values with their team, and we felt genuine support and caring, along with a sense that this business operates with the highest ethical and moral standards. We see potential for our franchise, and I am excited to see just how fast we can grow.”

Mike Blevins plans to handle operations and sales while Beth will assist with sales and handle the role of office manager. Interest for the Enviro-Master concept has been well-received.

“As we’ve been working out the details of our relocation, we’ve been reaching out to schools for our son in the area and making business connections with local Chambers of Commerce and others. It’s been somewhat surprising to hear how many people want to know what restaurants may become clients because they want to patronize hygienic establishments,” Beth Blevins said.

Supreme Lending opens Mobile office

Supreme Lending recently announced the opening of a new branch office in Mobile. Bill Robbins (NMLS 212581) is the new branch manager and Ginger Cobb (NMLS 340331) is a senior loan officer for the new lender located at 900 Hillcrest Road.

“Their expertise in the mortgage industry is truly reflective of the quality that Supreme Lending offers their clients as they become not only customers, but hopefully also build lifelong relationships,” Shayna Arnold, public relations executive assistant said.

Established in 1999 and headquartered out of Dallas, Supreme Lending continues to aggressively expand their presence throughout the United States. The company has been recognized as a top mortgage firm by Mortgage Executive Magazine, has received the Leadership Circle Award for Lending Excellence by Genworth U.S. Mortgage Insurance and mentioned by Scotsman Guide as a Top Lender in overall as well as retail volume.