HOME SWEET HOME
Each year there are approximately 2,509 homeless people in Palm Beach County, and most of them are children. They become homeless for many reasons, abuse, unemployment, divorce, mental illness, veteran’s inability to secure benefits, substance abuse, medical crisis, and foster kids who never found a family.
Adopt-A-Family is just one of our 52 partner agencies working to lower the number of homeless families in Palm Beach County. Their Service Enriched Housing program is comprised of families earning less than 200% of the federal poverty guidelines, who are on the path to home ownership. It consists of 28 two-bedroom apartments in Lake Worth. Rent for the families is calculated at 30% of gross income and the families pay a base rent of $500 and deposit the remainder in an account to use to clean up their credit or save for a down payment on a home. One of many helped through the Service Enriched Housing program is Ninfa.
Ninfa, a native of Columbia joined the program in February 2010. She is a seasoned enrollment specialist at the Palm Beach County Health District and has two children – Isabella, 9 and Gabriel, 4. When she first joined the program, she was in the process of divorcing her husband and was about to become homeless. Her daughter was four at the time, and she was expecting her second child. Ninfa dreamed of providing a better life for her children by owning a home. During the four years she was in the program, Ninfa diligently managed her money so she could reduce her debt, address credit obstacles, and save for her down payment and closing costs. To do this, she limited her expenses to essentials and prioritized increasing her savings. Ninfa has done this by herself, as she does not receive any financial child support.
In May 2014 Ninfa’s dream of owning her own home came true when she closed on 3 bedroom 2 bath townhome in West Palm Beach. At the closing, she was very excited to finally have a home with an outdoor space for her children to play and both children were excited to have their own rooms.
It is with the help of thousands of donors that we are able to support programs that work towards building stability for families in Palm Beach County. To learn more about the programs we support in the areas of education, health and income please visit our website www.palmbeachunitedway.org.
About the Town of Palm Beach United Way
Since 1945, the Town of Palm Beach United Way has invested more than $60 million into Palm Beach County because of generous donors who live or work on the island of Palm Beach. We advance the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the three building blocks of education, health and income. The Town of Palm Beach United Way recruits people and organizations that bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become part of the change. For more information, call us at 561.655.1919 or visit www.palmbeachunitedway.org.