WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A West Palm Beach nonprofit needs your help to eliminate youth homelessness in Palm Beach County.
Vita Nova is an organization that provides a pathway to independence for those in foster care, LGBTQ and other homeless youth ages 18 to 25. It offers services such as housing education employment and life skills training.
According to the group's president and CEO, Jeff Demario, from 2018 to 2019 youth homelessness increased by 23% across the nation. In Palm Beach County he says there are more than 500 homeless youth and more could soon be at risk with the eviction moratorium scheduled to end later this month.
"The troubling thing about the numbers is that it's disguised. These young people, many times are doubled up places and not counted, and so despite how the numbers look right now, I think it's a hidden number. There's more that I'm afraid that are there that are about to be homeless," Demario explained.
To combat those numbers, the group has launched what's called 'The Road To Home', the goal is to raise $90,000 by June 30.
Vita Nova is also home to the Spot- a drop-in center specifically for disconnected and homeless youth, the only one of its kind serving Palm Beach County. On June 24, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Vita Nova will mark the Spot’s third anniversary with a celebration onsite (2724 N. Australian Ave, WPB) with Vita Nova youth and community partners.
The Spot provides services such as housing coordination and partnerships, health care coordination, mental health services, employment coordination, workforce development training, adult education, community resource referrals, case management, financial literacy, life skills training, and rental and utility assistance. The drop-in center features a shelf-stable food pantry, business center, employment closet, and music studio for youth.