Save the Date: 2017 Sarasota Slam

Posted Posted in Family Haven Emergency Shelter, Freedom Substance Abuse Treatment Program, Home Again Permanent Housing, Press Releases, Uncategorized, Veteran Transitional Housing

When:
August 1 – 5, 2017

Where:
Marina Jack, Sarasota FL
2 Marina Plaza,
Sarasota, FL 34236

What:
Manatee-Sarasota Building Industry Association invites you to partner for the 2017 Sarasota Slam in Sarasota, Florida with a donation to our silent auction. This event has become one of Southwest Florida’s most endeared fishing tournaments. We understand and appreciate that the anglers are what make the event. We appreciate and love having them back year after year.

After 14 years, this event has already made a name for itself in the fishing community. Anglers are greeted by an amazing location and staff and treated to a top-notch event. More than 500 anglers competed and reeled in over $500,000 in cash prizes over the years.

The tournament also reaches out to the community by supporting local organizations. Weigh-in starts at 1:00pm and spectators from all over the globe come to participate in raffle drawings, silent auctions to benefit our 2017 selected charity Harvest House as you witness the largest weigh-in Sarasota Florida has ever experienced.

 

For silent auction donations, please complete this form.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Posted Posted in Family Haven Emergency Shelter, Freedom Substance Abuse Treatment Program, Home Again Permanent Housing

In honor of your mother or the special woman in your life, we invite you to celebrate your love for her by helping our neighbors who are in crisis.

Here at Harvest House, we believe that all people deserve safe, stable housing and the opportunity to renew their hope and dream again. We are dedicated to perpetuating hope for families and individuals looking to overcome poverty and homelessness, so that they may lead independent, sustainable lives.

We invite you to honor the women you know as well as bless neighbors you may not know. This Mother’s Day, please make a gift to Harvest House in honor or memory of that special woman in your life.

When you support Harvest House, you share your love in a very large way. Together, we are giving hope in the form of housing, case management, financial assistance, counseling, job skill training, and education. Your gift, at any level, provides the essential funding needed to make our solutions possible.

Thank you, in advance, for your thoughtfulness.

With a grateful heart,

Erin Minor
Executive Director, Harvest House

2016 Home Again Luncheon

Posted Posted in Family Haven Emergency Shelter, Family Village Renovations, Home Again Permanent Housing

HAL16

On behalf of all those benefiting, thank you everyone who made the 2016 Home Again Luncheon our most successful luncheon yet! With the generosity of our donors, the event raised more than $150,000 for families and individuals, like Alex and Amanda, who are working diligently towards overcoming homelessness and/or addiction and achieving self sustainability. You can watch Amanda’s story here.

Harvest House is dedicated to the premise that all people deserve safe, stable housing and opportunity to renew their hope and dream again. As a pioneer in the transitional and permanent supportive housing movement, we are the only organization is Sarasota County to participate in the development, preservation, and management of affordable service-enriched housing. With residential programs for families, veterans, and unaccompanied youth who are homeless, and individuals with a history of homelessness, substance abuse and incarceration, Harvest House has #APlaceForYou.

Posted by Harvest House Transitional Centers on Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Harvest House, one of this region’s largest social service providers, has spent over 20 years establishing hope for clients and the Greater Newtown Community. Through neighborhood revitalization and transformational housing programs, we are proud to provide tailored services to all clients, regardless of their faith. This organization could not continue to carry out its mission and vision were it not for the support we receive from our selfless donors.

This year, while the addition of the Family Village campus will greatly increase our serving capabilities, it will also add just over $200,000 to our Home Again operating budget, and so, the need for your support is greater than ever!

We look forward to sharing updates on our programs with you in the future, but in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to call 941-685-4047 to schedule a tour of our eight campuses.

The Board of Directors, our staff, our partner agencies and our neighbors in need join me in extending our sincere gratitude to you for your caring and generous support in this critical time.

Home Again Luncheon: Feb. 2nd!

Posted Posted in Family Haven Emergency Shelter, Home Again Permanent Housing, Press Releases

2015 Home Again Luncheon
2015 Home Again Luncheon

Please save the date for our 2016 Home Again Luncheon with MC Tom Tryon!

This year the luncheon will be held on Tuesday, February 2nd at Michael’s On East … yes it’s Groundhog Day! Please stay tuned for more information. Invitations will be sent out at the end of December.

Proceeds from the Home Again Luncheon benefit all of the families in Home Again- our permanent supportive, transitional, and emergency housing programs.

A Recent History of Homelessness.

Posted Posted in Family Haven Emergency Shelter, Family Village Renovations, Harvest House In the News

Lately there has been a fair bit of media coverage on the issue of homelessness in Sarasota and the best way to manage it …

Starting back in 2013, Sarasota spent tens of thousands of dollars—and earmarked hundreds of thousands more—agreeing to and then rejecting a solution that offered promise for reducing the city’s street homeless.

Dr. Robert Marbut was hired to complete an analysis of the homeless services gap in Sarasota County and the cities within. At the culmination of the analysis Dr. Marbut presented the County with a 55 page PDF of findings and action plan recommendations commonly referred to as the “12-Point Plan.” The plan broke out the different populations of people who are homeless and gave recommendations on how to best serve them.

Immediately the county’s homeless services director, Wayne Applebee, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation and several local social service providers including Harvest House Transitional Centers went to work to implement six of the recommendations that would serve the chronically homeless family population.

At the time, plans to fulfill the “come as you are shelter” recommendation were in the works. This shelter would accept homeless people who might not otherwise be taken by other shelters that usually require sobriety and participation in programs. This type of shelter would give the city more legal leeway in enforcing quality of life ordinances, allowing it to prohibit the chronically homeless from congregating or storing their belonging on the sidewalks. During a city commission meeting last July, the group decided not to move forward with the recommendation.

We chose a great deal of what Dr. Marbut proposed, but there was at least one item that we chose not to accept, because we found that the proposal that we had wasn’t the right fit for the city of Sarasota.says Commissioner Shannon Synder.

Last month Dr. Marbut presented a report card to the County regarding the progress from the last two years. He described the systems we have serving families, including our Family Haven at Harvest House, as the best in the nation, calling them “fabulously successful” and giving them an A+ score, but our communities failure to establish a “come-as-you-are” emergency shelter has had a negative impact on the other five recommendations.

The solution to the homeless issue is to view each individual within the homeless population as unique, and in so doing, properly address his/her situation in such a way that is in accordance with his/her vision of happiness. Individuals need a community network that is able to supply the needs of a wide variety of services that are available to bring them from the state of homelessness into self-sufficiency.

Not every individual chooses to be homeless. Due to the downturn in the economy, many homeless individuals and families in Sarasota turn to the streets and shelters because it’s their only option. As we work to provide more jobs and more educational opportunities for our community, we are also working on solutions to get those displaced back on their feet. If you are interested in getting involved with Harvest House and learning more about our programs to serve the homeless, I invite you to contact us here.

In Her Shoes

Posted Posted in Family Haven Emergency Shelter

“Even though she’s had transportation limitations, she has maintained employment for her family – no excuses. She takes buses, walks, and even pays for late-night cabs to get to and from work, and she never complains about it.”

-Cheryl Clunk,
Director of Family Services

This year on January 26th there were 1,367 individuals who identified themselves as homeless in Sarasota County. 251 of them were children from 126 different families – families like Dawn’s.

In the five years that Dawn has lived in Sarasota County, she has struggled to find sustainable housing for her family, and she is not alone – nearly 30% of those measured during the 2015 Point-in-Time Survey identified the lack of affordable housing as the primary cause for homelessness. Even when her family did find housing after their first stay at the shelter, issues beyond their control with the landlord and neighbors forced them to start all over again.

In addition to working two jobs and raising four children, Dawn is just a few credits away from completing her nursing degree. She’s setting a great example for her children who are all thriving in school with excellent grades and attendance records, despite the adversities the family has faced in the last few years.

Dawn was originally referred to Harvest House by the Family Haven Alliance – a coalition made up of five of Sarasota County’s leading social service organizations as a result of Dr. Marbut’s recommendations from two years ago. She saw an advertisement at the bus depot directing families in situations similar to hers to call 211 for help, so she did. During her time at Harvest House, she and her family were given a safe, affordable place to stay as well as access to case management and various support services.

Dawn’s husband moved to New York last week and it was the first time the family has been apart for an extended period of time. It was a difficult decision to make, but they didn’t want to pass up an opportunity for their family to be stably housed. Through a family connection, Dawn’s husband was able to secure a job working in construction. The job’s perks include a home for the family and a work vehicle for him. Dawn will be able to transfer her job at Wal-Mart and continue working after she and the children move this week.

Because a generous donor gave us a used car, we were able to give Dawn her first car since moving to Florida. She now has transportation to New York where she will rejoin her family! Dawn could barely hold back tears when we handed her the keys. She told us that she hasn’t owned a vehicle in over five years due to financial struggles.

If it weren’t for our generous supporters, all of the services and goods we provided for Dawn and her family would not have been available. If you are interested in learning more about Harvest House and how you can get involved, we encourage you to contact us.

Happiest City in the U.S.?

Posted Posted in Family Haven Emergency Shelter, Home Again Permanent Housing

“It was nice to bring our baby to a home from the hospital instead of to our truck.”

On a Friday afternoon in October 2014, we received a phone call from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. They found a family of five with a pregnant mom living in a truck in a public park. We checked them into the Family Haven that evening.

Family Info:

  • Agbor (father)
  • Ndolo “Miriam” (mother)
  • Arrey-Michael (5 yr-old son)
  • Mayesseh (4 yr-old daughter)
  • Eyole (2 yr-old daughter)
  • Sofia (newborn 3-17-2015)

Agbor and Ndolo are originally from Cameroon, Africa. They came to the U.S. on the lottery system in 2009. They moved from the Family Haven into our Home Again (permanent supportive housing) program on Feb 10, 2015, before having their baby.

During their stay with us we were able to …

  • register their five year-old into kindergarten,
  • enroll the two younger children into daycare,
  • gain FL driver’s licenses for mom and dad,
  • secure full-time employment for dad,
  • obtain medical treatment for mom (she had none prior in her pregnancy), and
  • celebrate Thanksgiving & Christmas!

On April 14th Today.com posted an article online naming Northport-Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida as the happiest city in the U.S., but according to recent articles by The New York Times and the Herald Tribune, children being raised in our county, Sarasota County, are at a significant disadvantage when compared to children growing up in the average U.S. county.

Sarasota’s ability to provide affordable housing is a major contributor to these issues we face as a community. One in every five families in Sarasota County are using half of their wages just to keep a roof over their head. Moreover, studies show that the median home value (up 6% from 2000) and cost of rental housing in the region continues to rise and become increasing unaffordable. With 14% of Sarasota and 23% of our county’s children living in poverty, the need for supportive affordable housing is greater than ever.

Here in Sarasota, homelessness is an epidemic felt by those who experience its pain, and by those who try to end it. At Harvest House, we believe that every family and individual deserves a chance. With the support of our donors, we are able to provide emergency, transitional, and permanent supportive housing for families and individuals, including case management and wrap-around services to assist them throughout their journey to an independent, sustainable lifestyle.