St. Augustine branch of Operation New Hope, which officials said will help former prisoners find living-wage employment.
Dr. Makaziwe Mandela, a daughter of late South African leader Nelson Mandela, spoke on Friday next to the future office at the St. Paul Development Center at 83 Washington St., attended by a crowd of visitors and officials who have worked for a couple of years to make the project happen, this event was followed by a reception at the Lightner Museum.
“Without unity — unity as a community, unity as a neighborhood, unity as a society, you can never actually enjoy or experience social justice in this country or anywhere in the world,” she said.
Dr. Mandela and her daughter, Tukwini, were in Northeast Florida as part of Nelson Mandela International Day Jax events. His birthday is celebrated worldwide on July 18.
Based in Jacksonville, Operation New Hope wants to open a St. Augustine branch for its Ready4Work program before the end of the year, said Curtis Hazel, the nonprofit’s community engagement director.
The organization is focused on fighting recidivism by helping people gain the skills they need to get and maintain jobs that will provide good quality of life.

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