The Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, Inc. announces the retirement of Rev. Stephen Braddock as FKOC’s President & Chief Executive Officer after seventeen years of service. Rev. Braddock’s long career with FKOC began in 2000 as a planned “short six months” to help the homelessness agency transition to new management. However, Rev. Braddock remained as a leader not just for FKOC’s mission and growth, but also among homelessness advocates in Monroe County.
Under Rev. Braddock’s leadership FKOC has grown from one facility in Key West to now offering more than 160 beds of shelter and permanent housing for men, women, families, the elderly, disabled, and victims of domestic violence who find themselves without a place to call home. Rev. Braddock was instrumental in the establishment of the Loaves & Fish Food Pantry at FKOC through a partnership with Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida, creating the first food pantry within Key West city limits. Most recently FKOC opened an outreach office in the Upper Keys to fully serve all of Monroe County. FKOC began offering homelessness prevention services in 2015 to better assist those facing temporary financial hardship that would potentially lead to homelessness.
Rev Braddock was a founding and longtime member of Monroe County’s Homeless Services Continuum of Care and nationally respected as an advocate for the most vulnerable members of our society. Rev Braddock is a past recipient of the Edward “Capt’n” Kidd Humanitarian Award in recognition of his dedication to serving the homeless and impoverished of Key West. Additionally, Rev. Braddock established, with the support of Monroe County Social Services, Monroe County’s first Homeless Memorial Day service, a national day of remembrance for those who die on the streets across the county.
FKOC Board Chairman Samuel Kaufman stated, “Seventeen years ago, FKOC started with little over a dozen beds. Fr. Braddock has built FKOC to what it is today allowing the agency to provide housing to over 160 homeless individuals every day in Key West. I am very proud to have worked with Fr. Braddock in all of the successes FKOC has achieved since the year 2000. He will be greatly missed by all of us in the FKOC family.”
“As I leave this privileged position-privileged because I have come to know and to understand and experience the incredible impact that FKOC has made on so many lives-I do so with a heart full of gratitude. The accomplishments of these nearly two decades have not been mine alone; rather, they have been the work and dedication of many dedicated staff, volunteers, and supporters. The future of FKOC is very bright. Many possibilities and opportunities for growth await under new leadership at both the board and administrative levels. And, I am confident the mission of FKOC will continue to expand in scope and presence for decades to come,” said Rev. Braddock.
The Board of FKOC has named Stephanie Kaple Interim Executive Director of FKOC. Stephanie Kaple began as intern with FKOC in the summer of 2003 and has over the years served in various roles with the agency most recently as Chief Operating Officer. “Rev Braddock has been a great mentor to myself and all of the staff at FKOC. We look forward to continuing the mission of FKOC and always growing to better serve the community,” Stephanie Kaple stated. Kaple continued, “I believe we have an exceptional team at FKOC, doing challenging but important work for our community. I know FKOC will continue to be a key part of addressing homelessness in Monroe County.”
FKOC will hold its annual Happy Hour Fundraiser at the Bottlecap on July 21st from 5 to 8pm (2221 Simonton Street) and invites everyone to stop by and support FKOC’s Loaves & Fish Food Pantry and their new community garden project. FKOC Board Chairman and City of Key West Commissioner Sam Kaufman will also be celebrating his birthday that evening.