What We Do

– Working Together To Create Safe, Resilient Neighborhoods


Our mission is to work collaboratively to build trust, increase safety, and restore neighborhoods.


The LEAD Coalition of Bay County is a diverse, public-private partnership among cross sector community organizations.

LEAD is an acronym for Leadership, Empowerment, and Authentic Development.


Leadership              Building trust through a Unity of Effort

Empowerment        Based on a Common Vision that

Authentic                Creates safe and

Development          Resilient Neighborhoods benefiting the people who live there


A Community Development Corporation that convenes stakeholders to develop and implement authentic, collaborative solutions to neighborhood challenges. The LEAD Coalition of Bay County, Inc., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization registered in Florida.

Hurricane Michael’s catastrophic destruction of homes worsened the affordable housing shortage that existed before the storm blew through Bay County. The US Census reports that approximately 21 percent of Panama City’s 36,900 residents live below the poverty line. Since 2014, the LEAD Coalition has worked in Bay County’s under served neighborhoods to bring programs to ease the burdens caused by poverty that might lead youth down dangerous paths. Working with students and their families at two Title 1 middle schools where most of the children are from low-socioeconomic households. LEAD partnered with Gulf Coast State College and several community agencies and organizations to offer after school and summer programs. Following Hurricane Michael, LEAD staff at the schools learned from the students about their housing challenges. Many of the students at both schools were displaced after the storm. With upwards of 60 percent of the under served neighbors renting their housing and about 70 percent of the rental housing stock heavily damaged or destroyed, the housing crisis is too big a problem for municipal and county governments to resolve without community involved in the rebuilding.

– Our Guiding Principles


  • Only through collaborative processes will this community generate complimentary actions that create sustainable social change and achieve the mission.
  • Freedom from fear is a basic human right.
  • People of all races, classes, ages and sexual orientation and in all communities have the right to be free from violence in homes, schools, workplaces, and on the streets.
  • Violence must be addressed holistically as a health, safety, social and economic problem. It costs our communities in lives lost, diminished potential, and millions of dollars.
  • These problems are bigger than the individuals, agencies, organizations and businesses and cannot be resolved by individual efforts.