Public Support Helps Harvest House Stay Resilient During Wave of Need

Coconut Telegraph

SRQ DAILY WEDNESDAY PHILANTHROPY EDITION WEDNESDAY JUN 3, 2020

Even in the best of times, Harvest House’s service-enriched housing model for those who find themselves without a roof over their head has a waiting list. But the organization hasn’t missed a beat in addressing the escalating needs of the community throughout the pandemic and economic fallout. Since statewide stay-at-home orders, Harvest House clients are experiencing record high unemployment and underemployment. Families are finding it especially difficult to return to work without viable childcare options, especially when most households are headed by single parents.

To relieve dozens of families of the burden of rent and program fees, the organization has waived costs to its clients and provided additional support like food supplies, technology assistance, and mental health counseling. The organization is also serving more than 1,500 people through its drive-through food pantry each week.

“From the onset, we never wanted clients to have to choose between rent and their next meal,” says Erin Minor, Executive Director of Harvest House. “We expect more waves of families to come looking for help in the next few months, and we’ve readied our infrastructure to be as prepared as we can be.” More than 33% of the organization’s funds come from programs fees and rent, but a $200,000 grant from Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation has allowed Harvest House to allow the waived costs to stay sustainable in the coming months.

“Harvest House is a longtime partner doing impactful work in our community,” says Teri A Hansen, President | CEO of Barancik Foundation. “Our Board recognized an opportunity to keep a critical part of our social safety net for families strong and resilient. We hope others will make similar investments.”

(941) 953-3154 || info@harvesthousecenters.com

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