Community activists working to bring a Salvation Army social services center to Poinciana.

Vacant office buildings are available in Poinciana ... but the rents are too high for a charitable non-profit like the Salvation Army to afford. That's why two community activists are hoping someone donates a temporary office. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

POINCIANA – Like a lot of things in Poinciana, a Salvation Army office is available …. If you don’t mind the drive to Kissimmee.
“There are no social service agencies in Poinciana,” said Nestor R. Nuesch, the president of Nuesch Management & Development Consultants in Poinciana. “If people have a need, they have to go to Kissimmee.”
Nuesch and Nick Murdock, two community activists who live in the Solivita development, are working hard to change that, and to bring a Salvation Army social service center to Poinciana.
“I decided to try and see if I could be helpful in bringing new businesses to Poinciana, because that is the key,” Nuesch said. “I love Poinciana, I think there is great potential here. We just have to get the word out. We need to make a difference.”
“We want to help the Salvation Army to bring in a thrift store – and I think we’ll be able to have that here – and a service center for family services,” said Murdock, a consultant with Manhattan Kraft Construction Inc. in Poinciana. He said the center could offer everything from counseling services to day care programs and music.
“It’s just endless what they can do for Poinciana,” Murdock said.
But the challenge is finding a place where the Salvation Army can set up shop. Rents on a lot of the available commercial properties in Poinciana are high, and as a non-profit charitable organization, the Salvation Army can’t afford that.
So Nuesch and Murdock are turning to the community for help, and asking if anyone could provide them with a temporary office made available for the Salvation Army.
“We are working with a variety of people for an interim facility for the social services aspect of it,” Murdock said. “We’re looking for a temporary space.”
Nuesch said he thinks this should be a strong sell for the community, considering how much the Salvation Army would bring to Poinciana, a community of more than 80,000 people that cuts across both Osceola and Polk counties.
“They have the name and reputation and they help people,” Nuesch said.
In the long run, Nuesch even has ambitions to assist the Salvation Army in starting a music school in Poinciana, and maybe even a performing arts center.
“I want to bring a music school here because we’re renowned for our brass bands,” he said of the Salvation Army.
But the first phase of Nuesch and Murdock’s ambitions are the social service office, assuming they can find a location that’s big enough – and affordable – for the charitable non-profit to operate in.
“Working with Nick, I would like to start by October the service center,” Nuesch said. “The Salvation Army wants to work in a stand-alone building. If I don’t have a stand-alone place, I can’t start by October.”
Assuming they can find a temporary location, Murdock and Nuesch said they plan to begin a fund-raising drive to help the Salvation Army build a permanent office in Poinciana.
“We want to keep all the money we raise here in Poinciana, and we’re hoping to have them under construction by late 2012,” Murdock said.
“We must raise money to build the facility we need,” Nuesch said, “That’s my dream, because right now, Poinciana doesn’t have any social service agencies.”

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