On Tuesday, Park Place Behavioral Health Services hosted a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony for Dillingham Apartments, a new development aimed at providing safe, affordable, and permanent supportive housing for individuals with diagnosed behavioral health disorders or substance abuse issues. The event also paid tribute to the remarkable legacy and achievements of the organization’s longtime CEO, Jim Shanks, who passed away in August 2024.

“Promoting affording housing is a top priority for both me and the Board of County Commissioners. Park Place has always been a great partner, constantly looking at ways to help the community,” said Grieb, who was a driving force behind Dillingham Apartments becoming a reality and was celebrating her birthday the day of the ribbon cutting. “I’ve always felt that this property was underutilized, so these apartments are the culmination of an idea I brought to the Park Place Board several years ago. They were open to pursuing this project – and formed a successful team to secure available funding. I’m happy that these apartments will serve a vulnerable segment of our population, the chronically homeless experiencing mental health and/or substance abuse issues.”

During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Dillingham Apartments was dedicated to James Allen Shanks in recognition of his more than 50 years of service to those in need and his relentless efforts to bring the Dillingham project to fruition. Unfortunately, Mr. Shanks, who had served as CEO of Park Place Behavioral Health Care in Kissimmee since 2002, passed away on August 18, 2023, at the age of 87. Despite his passing, the commitment to completing the Dillingham Apartments for the community remained steadfast, honoring the vision and legacy of Mr. Shanks.

“Finding a way to provide affordable housing for the individuals we serve was the dream of Jim Shanks,” said Garrett Griffin CEO for Park Place Behavioral Health Care. “I believe, as did Mr. Shanks, that Dillingham will enhance the quality of life for the individuals who live there, since they often have difficulty finding a permanent place to call home,” said Griffin.

Mr. Shanks was involved in the healthcare industry as an administrator for almost 60 years, dedicating his life to improving the lives of countless individuals, leaving an indelible mark on both the healthcare and local communities.

Shanks transformed the way mental health care and substance use disorder services are approached while providing unwavering support to those in need.

Before his tenure at Park Place, Shanks’ career was a testament to his passion for healthcare and community well-being. His role as the Executive Director of Osceola Regional Hospital in Kissimmee showcased his commitment to elevating medical services and ensuring the highest standards of patient care. Additionally, his position as the Associate Executive Director for Humana Health Plans of Central Florida demonstrated his dedication to making quality healthcare accessible to all.

Dillingham Apartments Kissimmee
Dillingham Aprtments
Dillingham Apartments
Dillingham Apartments
Cheryl Grieb
Dillingham Apartments
Dillingham Apartments
Dillingham Aprtments
Dillingham Birdsing Grieb

Dillingham has 30 apartment units for adults with a mental health diagnosis who are seeking independent living. Two units are reserved for those with incomes at or below 22 percent of the area median income (AMI); Six units to those with incomes at or below 30 and 33 percent AMI; and twenty-two to those with incomes at or below 60 percent AMI. As part of the total 30 affordable units, 6 units are set aside for adults with a serious mental illness who are coming out of homelessness.

Built in partnership between Park Place and Birdsong Housing Partners, Dillingham received financial support from Florida Housing Financing Corporation, the National Housing Trust Fund, the Osceola County Board of County Commissioners, and the City of Kissimmee.

Dillingham Apartments is a 3-story garden style apartment community located at 501 N. Dillingham Ave, across from Toho Water Authority on Martin Luther King Boulevard in Kissimmee.

Osceola County contributed $1.8 million from the Osceola County HOME program funds to assist with construction, and Osceola County Commission Chair Cheryl Grieb dedicated $160,000 to help with operating expenses.  Additional funding for the project included approximately $5.31 million from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation through a State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL) and SAIL Extremely Low Income Loan funding, $400,000 of City of Kissimmee HOME Program Funds, and $1.1 million from the National Housing Trust Fund.

The result of the efforts by Park Place and community leaders brings affordable housing for individuals with special needs to an area with existing mental health and medical services as the residents of Dillingham transition to independent living.

Dillingham includes office spaces for onsite case managers and community space for group activities. Bike racks, wide sidewalks, and access to public transit will provide residents the flexibility to reach appointments, activities, and more as they become increasingly independent.

“Birdsong Housing Partners is proud to be part of the team for Dillingham Apartments,” said Steve Auger, Birdsong CEO. “We are thankful to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation and to local government here in Kissimmee and Osceola County for their financial support and commitment to the project. Dillingham brings much-needed affordable homes to the area and those living with a mental health disorder.”

Architectonics served as the architects, KPMFranklin served as the engineers, Birdsong Housing Partners served as co-developer and the construction manager. TPI handles property management and Ability Housing is providing expert support to Park Place and the management company, and for those who will call Dillingham home.

For eligibility and leasing information, individuals are encouraged to contact TPI Management at (407) 908-7050 or Dillingham@gotopi.org.