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Grant helps Palm Beach County nonprofit provide transportation for youth experiencing homelessness

Vita Nova estimates at least 1,500 youth in Palm Beach County are currently homeless
Posted at 6:05 AM, Jan 13, 2023

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Youth in Palm Beach County experiencing homelessness are getting some help with transportation thanks to a recent grant.

On Thursday, Impact the Palm Beaches visited Vita Nova in West Palm Beach to tour the facility's new two buses purchased with the $100,000 grant Impact the Palm Beaches granted the nonprofit back in April.

Vita Nova provides services for 18 to 25-year-olds in Palm Beach County who have aged out of foster care, are LGBTQ+, and/or are experiencing homelessness for another reason.

Vita Nova's "the spot" provides employment job preparedness programs, life skills training and education, employment clothing, and other services to help Palm Beach County's youth get on their feet and have success for life.

The only caveat is that many of these youth don't have a way to get to and from work or education opportunities. Even getting to a grocery store can be a problem.

“Transportation is so critical, if you think about how many places you’ve gone, and how transportation has gotten you there and you didn’t require a bus, or a friend to get you there, it’s the same for these youth," said Vita Nova's CEO, Jeff Demario.

That's where Impact the Palm Beaches came in. The Philanthropic group aims to make an impact on Palm Beach County by making $100,000 Impact grants to area nonprofits every year.

The group picked Vita Nova as the recipient in April of 2022.

“There are plenty of young people aging out of foster care, and then they are just put into the community without a place to go, or perhaps they do get into a great school, or they do get a job, but they can’t get transportation to go back and forth. So this is a great way to get them transportation," said Lauren Sterlacci, Impact the Palm Beaches' President.

Demario estimates at least 1,500 youth in Palm Beach County are currently homeless.

The transportation trips will include trips to local shelters, social services offices for SNAP benefits, grocery stores, schools and places of education, housing sites, food banks, healthcare and mental health appointments, to and from places of employment, and trade programs, to name a few.

To learn more about Vita Nova, click here.

To learn more about Impact the Palm Beaches, click here.