In Martin County, nearly 500 students are classified as homeless or in unstable housing. Now an organization is working to change that by helping hardworking families who fell on hard times get back on their feet.
Winicarm Mildort is now a proud graduate of Family Promise in Palm Beach County
"I got out of a 5 year relationship and my ex was the main provider of the family," she said.
Family Promise, a network of congregations, who provide food, shelter, and transportation in Palm Beach County took her in and got her back on her feet. She had found herself homeless and couldn't get a better paying job to provide for herself and her two kids.
"I thought I had a whole plan for my life but it did not go as so but at the end of the day it did happen and it taught me a lot," she said.
She reflected on where she would be without the program.
"I fear to think about that, because I probably would have been bed to bed at friends houses families houses until I could do it on my own," said Mildort. " The program gave me that push and help to do it on my own."
Now there is another push in Martin County to start Family Promise, citing the lack of options for families in need.
"There are no family shelters in Martin county," said Cher Fisher, co-chair of Family Promise of Martin County.
Right now the organization says they have nine congregations and they need a total of 13. They’ll help about three to four families at a time. Each week they’ll move to a new congregation and will be given food transportation and a safe place to sleep at night.
"We have the stigma that homelessness is the people who are living in the woods and the reality today is there are so many families living paycheck to paycheck so family promise is targeting those families that a medical bill set them behind and they’ve gotten evicted and they’re couch surfing on someones sofa or in their car," said Pastor Chad Fair, with Emanuel Lutheran Church in Palm City.
Mildort is now calling on other families to help.
"Because the families that are in there don’t just let their life go or just does not want to work," she said. "It’s really hardworking people who are just in a bad situation who need the help, assistance, and are trying to make a better life.