“Can we stop this meeting and go play?”
As the 6-year-old boy spoke these words, I could hardly hold back my chuckle. It was a sunny but breezy (rain imminent) Florida afternoon, so his eagerness to go explore the Yanowitz Family Playground in his new backyard came as no surprise to me. His mother, Jordana, and I were reviewing the Lee Wetherington Family Village lease while he waited, patiently as he could, on the living room couch in their new apartment.
Lee Wetherington and the Yanowitz Family are just two examples of the many donors who came forward last year with generous gifts to our #TurnTheLightsOn Campaign. Lee’s gift, among other things, helped in making these apartments fully furnished, and the Yanowitz Family Playground will likely be something Family Village residents, particularly the children, remember for a lifetime.
It was weeks ago now that we moved Jordana and her son into their home, and as any parent knows, kids hate to go to bed at night — in fact it’s quite amazing to hear the excuses kids will come up with — drinks of water, trips to the bathroom, anything to delay the inevitable. She has since shared with me how much her son “LOVES his big boy bed, but he won’t go to sleep without his blanket and a story!”
She is filled with so much gratitude having been given this opportunity that she’s practically beaming each time I see her. She wants to thank the individual, who donated the blanket, and yet, it was just one $25 gift; much like those received during the 2015 Giving Challenge that provided this bedtime routine that her son won’t sleep without.
In total, it was 210 donors who supported our #TurnTheLightsOn Campaign during the 2015 Giving Challenge, and this year on September 20th and 21st, you, too, can #BeTheOne to impact a family like Jordana’s. The donations Harvest House receives during this year’s Giving Challenge will be supporting our new Unaccompanied Youth Transitional Living Program at the Family Village. Currently, there are no transitional living programs designed to service this unique population in Sarasota County, yet the need is evident. An estimated 1.6 million youth experience homelessness on their own each year. They live in a variety of unsafe, temporary, situations including shelters, motels, cars, and parks.
With your support, we can provide transitional living with wrap-around case management and support services for youth age 18 to 24 who have, already in their short lives, experienced devastation and hardships many of us will never know.
Florida has some of the highest high school dropout rates in the nation, and with high school dropouts making up 80% of our prison population; the time to focus our attention on these youth who are at risk is now. On September 20th and 21st, you can #BeTheOne to create a lasting impact these young adults.
Help us show them there’s #NoPlaceLikeHomeAgain!
And, if you still aren’t prepared to partner and positivity propel possibilities in the Giving Challenge, The Patterson Foundation has once again offered to generously match returning donors’ gifts (1:1) and triple new donors’ gifts (2:1)!
What can I do today?
Mailing Address:3650 17th StreetSarasota, FL 34235
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Please note, submitting an application for an NSP Affordable Rental does not guarantee housing. Units do not become available very often, so Harvest House will hold your application for 6 months in case a unit becomes available. The NSP program has strict gross income limits that are determined by HUD. Please see the chart below to ensure that your household meets the income requirements. Questions? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitting an application does not guarantee housing. Our goal is to serve as many families as possible, but due to limitations, we select those with the highest acuity of need first. We hold applications for 6 months in case an opening fits the needs of each applicant over that time period.
Home Again is a housing program that helps families prepare for long-term housing stability. The best fit for the program is families that have many challenges to housing, but are willing to engage with the program to improve their housing situation. Families must be willing to set goals, meet regularly with a case manager, attend life skills classes, and participate in individual housing stability plans.