The Homeless Coalition – Local Advocacy
Founded in 1989, the The Homeless Coalition leads the drive assisting individuals and families in need. From the meals served 7 days a week, 365 days a year to shelter and homeless prevention financial aid, The Homeless Coalition is working to serve Charlotte County residents with the best possible programs and services. Our clients are not only the chronically homeless, but many families, Veterans, and individuals hit hard by the economy and foreclosure crisis. In addition to being the homeless services provider in Charlotte County, The Homeless Coalition also serves as the Dept. of HUD Lead Agency on Homelessness. By serving as the Lead Agency The Homeless Coalition brings additional funding into our community that used to fund other not-for-profits, community based programs and services, and our community’s 10 Year Plan to Prevent & End Homelessness.
DID YOU KNOW THAT THE HOMELESS COALITION:
Hands out 10,000 food pantry meals each year,
Serves over 67,000 hot meals a year,
Provides 8,000 nutritional snacks to children in shelter annually,
Keeps over 200 households housed through Homeless Prevention,
Provides intensive case management to more than 1,500 clients a year,
Gives shelter to 1,000 people, 250 of which are children each year,
For every dollar of support received from local government, the community receives ten dollars in services through The Homeless Coalition. The benefit to the residents of Charlotte County in 2015 is over $1,000,000 in services for an investment of $100,000. This is made possible through State & Federal funding and the generous donations of time and money by the citizens and business of this community.
The Homeless Coalition case management staff and volunteer case workers reach out to people struggling to just exist. Through our Bridges out of Poverty community development program we are teaching other case workers how to speak the language our clients do.
This Bridges program, coupled with client engagement, leads clients to develop a new life plan for themselves. Bridges is taught to clients in shelter and those household receiving financial assistance, a series of 10 week classes helps the client to establish a plan that changes their lives forever. Bridges classes cover:
> Could you survive – understanding resources and activities in my community that I can participate in and life planning skills,
> Core constructs – economic class differentials, building relationships, economic stability that is planned for long term,
> Mental Models – what is our mental model of poverty and how does that effect what we do and how we operate in our community’s norms,
These courses help our clients to facilitate the change they want to see in their own lives. Bridges creates an atmosphere conducive to success whether you’re homeless, struggling in poverty, or working poor. Learning the languages of Bridges helps our community better plan for and assist clients with programs and services that can take hold with meaningful success!
The Value of Success is Priceless.
Sometimes it is easy to overlook how each of us is connected to each other and how one person’s daily life can negatively or positively impact a whole community. What is the value of one single mother with two children living in our community?
- Jennifer works full-time at a local business.
- She pays rent to her landlord allowing him to pay his mortgage, local property taxes and homeowners insurance.
- Jennifer shops at the local grocery store.
- She buys gas at the local gas station and car repairs from a local mechanic.
- She takes her children to local Physicians and Dentists.
- On Sunday mornings the entire family goes to church. Jennifer gives what little she can to support the church that has been so supportive to her and her boys during their difficult times.
- Jennifer is a part-time student at Edison College in Punta Gorda.
- Twice every year Jennifer’s parents visit from New York. They love Port Charlotte and can’t wait to retire here. Since Jennifer’s house is so small, they stay at a hotel, treat the family by dining out, take the grandkids to play miniature golf and frequent matinees at the movie theater.
One day, Jennifer will reach her goal of being a teacher and will then give back to her community, that’s the value of success!
If you know of someone in need of assistance please have them contact us at (941) 627-4313 or select the referral form below and email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to (941) 627-9648.
Client Referral Form for Community Agencies: click here for printable form.
> Case advocacy for clients with disability claims (SSDI/SSI)
> Assistance in eligibility and application for Veteran’s benefits & services
> Assistance in obtaining Vocational Rehabilitation, Goodwill Employment Training, and Senior Employment
> Cash Assistance, Medicaid, and Medicare Services
The Homeless Coalition provides centralized intake for homeless clients with referrals as necessary to: Crisis Intervention Team; Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU); Detox-Recovery Center (CBHC); Outpatient Evaluation & Counseling; AA/NA On-site 6-days per week; Crisis and Rape Emergencies (CARE); Department of Children & Families (DCF); and Homeless Youth Education Project at the Charlotte County Public Schools.
One person willing to do the work to change, one family banding together to create support, one church member willing to listen, one homeless shelter able to provide assistance, one staff member willing to encourage, one employer ready to give an opportunity, one success story inspiring others to succeed.
Together we can make a difference and enhance the lives of all residents of Charlotte County, together we can!
Florida Coalition for the Homeless – State Advocacy
The Florida Coalition for the Homeless (FCH) is a dynamic organization whose membership and Board of Directors include homeless advocates, service providers, members of the faith-based community, formerly homeless persons, educators, attorneys, mental health professionals and many others statewide who are committed to putting an end to homelessness and improving the conditions of persons living without shelter.
The Florida Coalition for the Homeless strives to make homelessness one of the state’s priorities. We accomplish this through:
- Providing education on homelessness issues;
- Advocating for initiatives that help homeless people and against laws and ordinances that may harm them;
- Networking with advocates throughout Florida on federal, state and local issues;
- Promoting unification, involvement and leadership of local coalitions, service providers, homeless people, religious leaders, units of government and others in the development and implementation of a statewide agenda.
Thank you to Adams Street Associates (ASA) for another terrific job working the FCH Agenda with both the House and Senate during the 2015 Budget Session. ASA has increased the funding levels for homeless services in Florida several million dollars – now it’s up to us, Lead Agencies, Homeless Coalitions, and front line providers to maximize the benefit of these new dollars. Together we can bring an end to poverty, homelessness, and hunger in our great state!
Charlotte County Food Connection News
The Food Connection project was recently awarded a third year operating grant – congrats Homeless Coalition Grant Team for facilitating this years funding! The Food Connection Committee meets monthly to review data reports, plan for upcoming project events, and prepare a case management program for “high-use” clients found in the data. We encourage all members of our community to attend this meeting and contribute their individual and agency skills to making life in Charlotte County better for all of our residents.If you want to become involved or want more information about the Food Connection process please contact Michael Overway at (941) 627-4313 x 106.
For a list of Food Pantries in Charlotte County select the link listed here. Food Pantry & Donation List
Food Connection Annual Report 2013-14 (select PDF link below)
- Charlotte County Food Connection
Next meeting is July 19th, 2016, 8:30am-10:00am, at the Charlotte Community Foundation Building in Punta Gorda.
- DCF ACCESS Training Contact Ian Connell for details 239-895-0374
DCF is a great community partner here in Charlotte County, contact Ian to find out how you can be connected.
- Community Needs contact Charlotte 2-1-1
If you or someone you know is need of shelter, food, rental/utility assistance, or counseling please contact Charlotte 2-1-1 for a complete list of resources.