It’s been a tough few years for Floridians. We’ve been through a pandemic and a massive influx of new neighbors from out of state that caused staggering rent increases. That’s not to mention a Category 5 hurricane . . . and now the threat of a recession looms.
More and more families are unable to afford rent or mortgage. Thousands of neighbors are either a medical bill or rent increase away from homelessness. Florida has the third-largest homeless population in the United States.
Homelessness doesn’t discriminate. It can happen to anyone, even those who hold a regular job—just ask Juan, who shared his story in this note.
Thankfully, we’re blessed to have friends and partners stepping up to help. Because of them, SVdP CARES helped 2,975 people – including 1,446 Veterans – in 2022*. Since 2013, 81% of housing program participants were lifted from homelessness to permanent housing.
Generosity also helped provide rent assistance, food, clothing, and community resources such as financial counseling, personal counseling, and employment counseling. Especially in the current economic conditions, our neighbors’ need for these services will only continue to grow in 2023. In fact, we already have a waitlist.
Over the past year, we shared the stories of several neighbors helped by our Rapid Rehousing Program. They and many others are still housed, happy, and hopeful.
Juan and his family of eight were housed and thriving for over a year thanks to the help of SVdP CARES. Tragedy struck in the form of Hurricane Ian, and the family once again found themselves displaced. Read more of their story in Juan’s note.
Anna exited the SVdP CARES program in June of 2022. She’s living in an apartment on her own and is enjoying her independence.
Nazifa and her girls are still in their same home. Nazifa works full-time at Target and her adult daughter works part-time and is enrolled at St. Petersburg College full-time. Her younger daughter is in high school and works part-time.
When Jasmine and her daughter exited our program in September of 2022, Jasmine was working full-time at a local nursing home, giving back to the elder community.
Lilly still resides in the apartment located just south of the CARE Center. She is doing well and has been thriving and becoming self-sufficient. She is currently looking into finding a larger apartment with washer/dryer access and extra space to store all of her clothes! She’s also expressed interest in volunteering in our kitchen. Hopefully, we’ll soon see her on campus serving meals and blessing others with her time and talent.
It’s because of the support of our donors and CARE Champions, that so many neighbors have been lifted out of homelessness and continue to thrive in homes of their own. SVdP CARES wishes all the best in this New Year and beyond!
This New Year, Give a New Start
Many more people like Juan, Anna, Nafiza, Jasmine, and Lilly are ready and hopeful for another chance. Will you give them that chance?