Families Leave Homelessness Behind



Six families who had lived at a Sarasota homeless shelter are now well on their way to self-sufficiency after a year’s worth of financial-literacy training, financial coaching and peer support. The families are the second group to graduate from Gulf Coast Community Foundation and United Way Suncoast’s Financial Sustainability Initiative (FSI). Launched about a year and a half ago, FSI helps families avoid relapsing into homelessness by building the knowledge, habits, and assets they need to become financially sustainable. “When you understand what families are up against in trying to make ends meet and keep a roof over their children’s heads, it’s almost mind-boggling,” said Holly Bullard of United Way Suncoast. The six families to complete the program last month spent about a year attending financial-literacy workshops, meeting regularly with a financial coach, and developing a budget and career plan to move their families toward financial sustainability.The next step, according to Gulf Coast’s Thaxton, is expanding the initiative to southern Sarasota County. Key partner agencies there will include Family Promise of South Sarasota County and Children First’s facility in North Port.

Gulf Coast Community Foundation

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