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Fri, Apr 10, 2020 at 10:15AM

Little boy’s joy? A fridge and stove

While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought much of everyday life to a standstill, your continued support is allowing Family Renew Community to keep as many families as possible moving along the path out of homelessness.
This week, we welcomed a new family into an apartment at our Holly Hill Residential campus. The youngest of the single mother’s four children was born three months ago, during the family’s stay at a local emergency shelter for families experiencing homelessness. While the baby maybe too young to notice, her 6-year-old brother immediately saw the difference between their cottage at Family Renew Community and their room at the shelter.
“When he found out they have a refrigerator and a stove, he was thrilled,” says Anita Dudley who, as Family Renew’s Holly Hill program manager, will guide the family on their journey out of homelessness and toward economic well-being.
A stable home life for children, with family meals and bonding around the dining table, is among the attributes of Family Renew Community’s housing programs in Holly Hill, Daytona Beach and DeLand. The focus is on giving kids a safe place to live and thrive with their families, while parents work with compassionate, expert help to lift their families out of homelessness and poverty forever.
This particular family became homeless after fleeing a violent domestic situation. Every family has its own story. Family Renew Community’s case managers, including Ms. Dudley, help each family make a plan to harness their strengths and overcome their obstacles. They help parents improve their employment, money management and parenting, pay down debts, repair credit and build savings.
We expect the current public health crisis will make the climb out of homelessness harder and longer for many families. With your help, Family Renew Community will be there for the duration for families like the one who moved in this week.
The kitchen wasn’t the only thing about their new digs that captured the attention of the 6-year-old and his 7-year-old and 10-year-old sisters. Their eyes lit up when they saw the playground. Though the ladders, swings and slides are off-limits to prevent children from gathering, Ms. Dudley made a brief exception for the newcomers.
“It was like Disneyland for them,” she says.

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