Local homeless advocates receive grant to help people off the streets

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Anytime of the day, you can find homeless people walking the streets of West Palm Beach, hoping for help.

One advocate and her organization 'The Lord's Place' is receiving a $600,000 grant from the Quantum Foundation to help get these people off the streets.

Dusty Leach is one of those people.

"I live out here in a tent in the woods," he tells us. "I panhandle for a living."

He depends on the kindness of strangers, as drug addiction, having his identity stolen and a tough job market led to Dusty living on the streets.

"I'd just like to have me a place to live and a job man," Dusty says. "I'd work as a greeter or stocker at Wal-Mart,  it wouldn't matter to me."

If there is anybody who knows that feeling of hopelessness, it's Barbara Moody.

As a resource specialist supervisor with 'The Lord's Place', she helps people like Dusty get back on their feet.

That knowledge that that comes from a place of experience.

After an abusive marriage drove her out of her home years ago, Barbara was homeless - and addicted to drugs.

"Self destruction was definitely the mode of thought," she says. "I slept in doorways, and church fronts."

She was able to find help through a local organization.

Now she's employed, owns a house, and is engaged - a life transformation that she says started with trust - a message she passes on to the people she helps.

"Make sure that you trust the person that's willing to give you that opportunity," Barbara says.

For Dusty, that person is Barbara - his example of what a little faith can do.

"Barbara says she can get this for me, I believe her," Dusty says.

Moody says she's seeing a difference in the type of homeless on the street.

Most are people with low social security insurance benefits.

Others are elderly disabled who are struggling to make ends meet after buying retirement homes.