Alexis was a featured guest at the 2017 Home Again Luncheon, an annual fundraiser lunch for Harvest House that allows our community of supporters and partners to come together to review the year behind us and the year ahead. Here is Alexis’ speech from that day.
Hi, my name is Alexis. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my story today.
My childhood was good until I was about 8 years old. That’s when my parents got a divorce and my father went to prison. My mother got a new boyfriend and we moved here from New Jersey. We always had a place to live but I never felt safe. I grew up in a family with abuse, DCF and police involvement, drug issues and a lot of drama. One night the police raided our house because my mom’s boyfriend was selling drugs. I was only 13 and the police pointed their guns at me and put me in handcuffs. I was never so scared.
Shortly after my 17th birthday, I gained the courage to tell my mother how I felt about what was happening in the home. However, she sided with her boyfriend and wanted me out of the house, so they charged me $300 per month, even though I was in High School. I couldn’t keep up with the rent and was asked to leave. I stayed with my aunt for a few months but I couldn’t stay there long-term. I needed to leave there but I had nowhere to go. I heard about the New Heights Program at Harvest House from Karen at my school. This program has saved my life! It has given me a safe place to lay my head every night. A place where I don’t have to stress, or worry, or be fearful. I appreciate the food they provide for me and the WIFI, so I can complete my online high school courses.
I have a great case manager, Christie, and mentor, Cathy that I can go to when I need to talk. This program has made it easy for me to focus on my goals, which is to graduate from Riverview High School in May and enroll in the culinary arts program at Suncoast Technical College.
My mother would say to me “You will never graduate…you will never be anything in life” Not only will I prove her wrong but I will be a great role model for my younger sisters and brothers to look up to. Thank you, Harvest House, for making this happen.
APRIL 2017 UPDATE:
Alexis was chosen as 1 of 5 seniors from Riverview High School to be honored by the Education Foundation of Sarasota County, Inc. and Sarasota County Schools at the 2017 Strive Awards Luncheon for “students who have made tremendous achievements while overcoming incredible odds.” Each of the 25 seniors honored was awarded $2,500. Alexis was surprised at the end with a special recognition as 1 of 5 “Super Strivers” and got an opportunity to trade in her $2,500 check for a $5,000 check! We are so proud of this young woman! We LOVE watching her succeed and we know we’ll have many more accomplishments to celebrate with her in the future. She is now studying Culinary Arts at Suncoast Technical College.
Mailing Address:3650 17th StreetSarasota, FL 34235
HARVEST HOUSE A 501(C)(3) NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION - This website was made possible by a grant from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Harvest House is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. Please check with your accountant to determine if your contribution is tax deductible. A COPY OF HARVEST HOUSE’S OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREEWITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENTOF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS AT 1-800-435-7352 OR VISIT FRESHFROMFLORIDA.COM.100% OF THE DONATION IS RECEIVED BY HARVEST HOUSE, REGISTRATION NUMBER #CH39598.
© 2020 Harvest House. All rights reserved.
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 email@example.com.
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.