A Story of Determination

A Story of Determination

Dave-Ansy Laguerre never gives up. He became homeless last year for his first and only time when he lost his job, his car, and then his apartment. Just like that, he was without a place to live. He had moved in briefly with an aunt, but could not continue the arrangement, and eventually found his way to John Prince Park and the Parks to Work program. He says the Homeless Coalition was key to the services that lifted him up and gave him hope again. Dave notes that he did not find sustained, caring assistance from other cities he had lived in. But he kept looking until the Homeless Coalition came through. He says Parks to Work is the best program he found, and calls it “very effective. It worked for me, and it can work for anyone!” He especially credits them with the ongoing assistance he received regarding career choices and connections to training. Finally, he made his way to the Lewis Center for a dress makeover to get ready for his interviews! Dave is now on track to receive his commercial driver’s license, having already passed the written test and will start his practical training soon. He also plans to obtain certification as a forklift operator, and once trained as a mechanic, so this skill will be helpful to him. He has also found new housing. He says, “grown men are supposed to live on our own and depend on ourselves.” It seems that Dave is well on the way to making that happen, and we salute him for his courage and determination.

Written By: Denise Torre

Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County Receives Surprise $10,000 Gift to Ensure Event’s Success

Former Congressman Hopes To Encourage Support for Event Vital to Community Efforts

 PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL. - Though the event will be virtual this year, the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County’s Mayor’s Ball is getting support in the form of a $10,000 gift to help meet the growing need across Palm Beach County.

The $10,000 gift comes from former Congressman Mark Foley in honor of event co-chairs Sophia Eccleston, Peter Cruise, and Fred Angelo, longtime event emcee WPTV’s Jay Cashmere, and the late Senator Phil Lewis, a 50 year Foley family friend who served as a political mentor to the congressman.

“As a member of the Palm Beach County community for many years, I have seen firsthand the work of the Homeless Coalition and these three individuals,” shared Foley. “Lack of housing leads to poor outcomes on a number of levels. Sophia, Peter, Fred and Jay are deeply dedicated to improving resources and support in our community for those in less fortunate situations. I also know that raising money for a major event virtually is a challenge. I am proud to support the work this organization is doing to help change the direction for the children and adults who have no place to call home. I urge the community to do what they can to support this very important work of endling homelessness in Palm Beach County.”

The virtual Mayor’s Ball will take place on Saturday, October 10, 2020 from 7:00 – 8:00p.m.

Monies raised through this event help to support programming the Homeless Coalition brings to Palm Beach County residents each year, working to find shelter and housing to stabilize those in need. Since 2012, the Homeless Coalition has helped over 2,600 men, women and children by building coalitions and inspiring pathways to end homelessness.

The Homeless Coalition was formed in 1986 and incorporated in 1989 as The Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County, Inc.  It is a 501©3 not for profit corporation that serves as a catalyst for community collaboration to prevent and end homelessness in our community. For additional information on this gift, or the virtual Mayor’s Ball, please visit www.homelesscoalitionpbc.org or call (561) 355-9912.

The Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County names Pamela M. Payne as Chief Executive Officer

West Palm Beach, FL, August 28, 2020 – The Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County announces Pamela M. Payne as the new Chief Executive Officer. Mrs. Payne has a stellar reputation as a non-profit executive with extensive proven experience in fundraising, collaborative partnerships, and fiscal responsibility. “I’m so excited to be joining the Homeless Coalition. It’s a great opportunity, I’m passionate about addressing the needs, and it is so important in our community and beyond,” said Pam.

Prior to joining the Homeless Coalition, Pam served in several non-profit leadership roles in Palm Beach County. Most recently, she was the Executive Director of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society responsible for Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, Okeechobee and Hendry counties. In that position, she received national recognition as a top performing chapter. Prior to her leading the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, she was the Senior Executive Director for the American Heart Association. In that position, she had responsibility for a five-county area and a staff of 13 focused on fundraising, administrative and program functions.
Pam is extremely involved in Palm Beach County and served as the President of Executive Women of the Palm Beaches. She has received multiple leadership awards including the American Heart Association’s Rome Betts Award for Management and the Women of Distinction by the March of Dimes.

“We are fortunate to have someone of Pam’s caliber and experience. She joins the Homeless Coalition with extensive experience, dedicated leadership and strategic vision which will be invaluable to our ability to addressing homelessness in our county,” said Paul Dumars, Jr, Chair of the Board of Directors.

The Homeless Coalition was formed in 1986 and incorporated in 1989 as The Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County, Inc. It is a 501(c) 3 not for Profit Corporation that serves as a catalyst for community collaboration to prevent and end homelessness in our community.

She begins her role on September 8, 2020.

Contact Info:
Paul Dumars, Jr, President, Board of Directors
Website: http://homelesscoalitionpbc.org
Phone: 954.558.5502

Safe Shelter of Hope Outreach

Your contributions to our Safe Shelter of Hope are making miracles happen!

So far, we have moved 7 homeless seniors and veterans and raised over $90,000 all thanks to community members like you who are dedicated to eradicating homelessness in Palm Beach County.

The Homeless Coalition would like to extend its gratitude to VoLo Foundation for their generous donation of $40,000, FPL for directly contributing $35,000, and an Anonymous donation of $10,000 to our cause which seeks to address growing public health concerns, rising unemployment, and increasing incidence of homelessness related to COVID-19.

Everyone deserves safe shelter. With your help, our Safe Shelter of Hope campaign will move 40 homeless seniors and veterans out of a local park and into a warm and welcoming environment. Together, we can shine a light on the often forgotten faces of homelessness.

We welcome corporations and businesses to join us in the fight and consider making a contribution to our Safe Shelter of Hope Campaign or consider matching our latest FPL donation. See below for ways to get involved. Every dollar counts!

Ways to get involved:
• Spread the word—By sharing our campaign link with your network and letting your friends and family know why this cause is important to you, you can help us reach our goal for our Safe Shelter of Hope campaign.
• Forward our emails and social media posts that you resonate with to your colleagues and loved ones.
• Become a fundraiser. You can easily create your own fundraising campaign page if you prefer to work in teams!
• Donate at the link below OR you can Text to Give!

Click here or Text homepbc to 243725 to give today!

Media Coverage

Palm Beach Post Coronavirus FL Group Finds Hotels for Some Homeless Living at John Prince Park

WPTV New Push to Help 40 Veterans and Seniors Living at John Prince Park

CBS12 Homeless Getting a Hand Moving Out of John Prince Park

WPBF At-Risk Seniors and Veterans to be Removed from "Tent City"

Emergency Homeless Shelter Approved by Palm Beach County

For weeks, homeless advocates have debated the impact of the deadly coronavirus on our most vulnerable populations like the homeless, elderly and those with underlying medical conditions.

Just yesterday Palm Beach County commissioners approved a $2.5 million contract with Gulfstream Goodwill Industries to provide an emergency shelter for homeless people. The temporary living facility is needed for the approximately 1,400 homeless people and families in Palm Beach County.

"Ever since this pandemic happened, a lot of people lost their jobs," says Francky Pierre Paul, founder of Different Shade of Love, a local non-profit organization that helps the homeless. "A lot of people here used to make $300 a week. Of course, in Palm Beach County, you can’t get a one-bedroom apartment with that."

“Our goal is to get people in (to the new facility), assess them, wrap appropriate social services around them and move them into permanent housing so that others can continue to flow through,” said Palm Beach County Administrator Verdenia Baker.

She also asked the public to assist with the continued housing demands facing the homeless through the County’s S.M.A.R.T. Landlords Campaign. With the Campaign, if you're a landlord and willing to rent to the County's homeless population, you can be guaranteed up to 24 months of rent.

What is a SMART Landlord?

Support - Landlords support the community by offering housing to residents who are facing a housing crisis and have nowhere to live.

Marketing - Landlords can save on marketing costs. We have a waiting list of people who need housing immediately.

Assistance - Every tenant has a case manager who provides assistance to the client and serves as the landlord's immediate point of contact.

Rent - Landlords receive timely rent payments with help from the organization placing the tenant.

Tenant- Reduce vacancies by always having a tenant.

For more information about the S.M.A.R.T Landlords Campaign, click here http://www.thehomelessplan.org/smart/.

Source: https://www.wptv.com/news/region-c-palm-beach-county/palm-beach-county-to-approve-2-5-million-emergency-homeless-shelter?fbclid=IwAR3YIxGEOr_vahwn5JQiIsp63UwqMwqcHy_GVvpAHxxEp9VUcarPeO7rGFU


People experiencing unsheltered homelessness (those sleeping outside or in places not meant for human habitation) may be at risk for infection when there is community spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19 is caused by a new coronavirus. There is much to learn about the transmission, severity, and other features of the disease. Everyone can do their part to help plan, prepare, and respond to this emerging public health threat.

Lack of housing contributes to poor health outcomes and linkage to permanent housing continues to be a priority. In the context of COVID-19, the risks associated with sleeping outdoors in an encampment setting are different than with staying indoors in a congregate setting such as an emergency shelter or other congregate living facility. Outdoor settings may allow people to increase distance between themselves and others. However, sleeping outdoors often does not provide protection from the environment, quick access to hygiene and sanitation facilities, or connection to healthcare. The balance of risks are to be considered for each individual experiencing unsheltered homelessness.

At this juncture we are launching a series of “Daily Thank You” to acknowledge and recognize the efforts of all key players in our efforts to end homelessness during these trying times. Who else but the Homeless Outreach Teams (HOT) are the perfect launch partner as they are our front lines. These workers need to be prepared to protect themselves and their clients, provide health education information, and help direct their clients to care as necessary. They still greet their clients (from a safe distance) and explain their taking additional precautions to protect themselves and the clients from the virus. They screen clients for symptoms consistent with COVID-19 by asking them if they have a fever, new or worsening cough, or shortness of breath. If they detect symptoms, immediately provide surgical masks. If urgent medical attention is necessary, they use standard outreach protocols to facilitate access to healthcare. And they provide all clients with hygiene products, if available. The Homeless Coalition, thanks to a grant from the IBIS Foundation, just as the crisis hit, provided 200 hygiene kits which come in handy now.

Let’s give a shout-out to all the relentlessly working Homeless Outreach Team members:

Your friendly, non-threatening discussions build trust and rapport. Nothing is forced; it is always the homeless’ choice whether he or she wishes to take advantage of public assistance. But the first step always is you to stop and ask, “How are you doing?” Thank you so much for your hard work. Because of you we will get through this crisis in a safer manner.

COVID-19 Update - Business As Usual!

The COVID-19 pandemic is showing its impact throughout our county including here at the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County.

- Our Annual Mayor's Ball scheduled for April 4, 2020 has been postponed. New date pending.

- Our Administrative Staff is working remotely from the safety of their homes.

- All of our volunteer programs have been placed on a temporary hold.

- Our Donation Center located at the Senator Philip D. Lewis Center is temporarily closed.

However, we still are open for business. All calls are being forwarded and as always you can leave voicemail messages and communicate with us via e-mail.

For information about your in-kind donations of gently worn clothing, toiletries, and other items you can call our Donation Center Coordinator, Uwe Naujak at 561-904-7937 or email him at unaujak@homelesscoalitionpbc.org about your in-kind donation of gently used clothing and any other items until we are staffed again and re-open.

Our Breaking Bread Breaking Barriers Program is still accepting food deliveries to the Lewis Center however, the volunteer "serving" portion of the program has been temporarily placed on hold.  For more information on how you can help, call Uwe Naujak at 561-904-7937 or email him at unaujak@homelesscoalitionpbc.org.

For information or questions about Mayor's Ball 2020, you can reach out to Celissa Stringer at 561-355-9912 or email at cstringer@homelesscoalitionpbc.org.

For information or questions pertaining to the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County, you can call our direct line at 561-355-4663 or email our Executive Assistant, David Carre at dcarre@homelesscoalitionpbc.org.

How can you help us during COVID-19?

In the coming weeks or months, the homeless community in Palm Beach County is likely to become even more dependent on our support.  Your donation at http://homelesscoalitionpbc.org/donate/ ensures we will be able to meet the growing needs of our homeless neighbors and maintain operations and programs with little interruption.

Thank you for your continued support. Together we will get through this.