WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Palm Beach County and a group of nonprofits are helping individuals who are experiencing homelessness receive their stimulus checks from the American Rescue Plan.
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The county will hold five events in April in multiple cities:
- April 9, St. Ann Place, 2107 N. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach from 10 a.m. to noon
- April 10, Church Without Walls, 1824 Lake Worth Road, Lake Worth Beach from 10 a.m. to noon
- April 16, St. Matthews Church, 404 SW 3rd St., Delray Beach from 10 a.m. to noon
- April 23, St. George, 21 W 22nd St., Riviera Beach from 10 a.m. to noon
- April 24, The Lord's Place, 2808 N Australian Ave., West Palm Beach from 10 a.m. to noon
Community leaders said they are also in the process of planning an outreach event in the Glades area.
Transportation to the events is available from A Different Shade of Love by calling 561-800-5689.
James Green, the director of the Palm Beach County Community Services Department, said they will also encourage the homeless to utilize the funds in a way that helps them to achieve housing.
Other services at the events include assistance with tax returns, establishing an address and getting an identification.
For the past several years, Ali Doran, 24, has not had a place to call home.
"When we reach out to get help it's like no one wants to give us a chance," Doran said.
She and her dog, Shadow, are homeless, spending many nights living in a tent as she struggles to find work.
"Some people don't want to help. They're giving us doubts that we're never going to change, and if they try to help us it's going to be a waste of their time, and that's not the case," Doran said.
However, Francky Pierre-Paul, the founder of A Different Shade of Love, is teaming up with Palm Beach County, the United Way and other partners for the upcoming events.
"There's a gap, and that gap may be a lack of transportation. That gap may be a lack of IDs. That gap may be a lack of a bank account," Pierre-Paul said.
The county and the non-profits will help provide people the information and the resources they need to try and alleviate homelessness and help change people's perspectives.
"My thing is to have more compassion, more heart, empathy and sympathy to our homeless neighbors on the street," Pierre-Paul said.
Doran said she is expecting a baby and believes the stimulus check will help her tremendously.
"A lot of times when you move into an apartment, now they want first and last [month's rent] and some of us homeless people can't afford that right now," Doran said.
The event this weekend in Lake Worth Beach will also have free food, showers, laundry services and haircuts.