Second Heart Homes Expands Successful Supportive Housing Program To Serve Homeless Women

The Giving Coast

Pictured: Denise and Mary Anne, recently assisted and housed by Second Heart Homes. Photo courtesy of the nonprofit

Second Heart Homes is expanding its successful supportive-housing program to serve chronically homeless women with mental illnesses.  The organization, which currently houses and serves 24 formerly homeless men with mental illnesses, recently purchased two homes and began housing its first two female residents on December 1st. The expansion is supported by a $125,000 grant from Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation and other donations. This funding will enable Second Heart Homes to house, love, and assist 12 single women—taking them off the streets and directing them to better lives. 

“While our supportive housing program for men has been very successful, we have learned that homeless women have more complex challenges and that there aren’t enough supportive housing services in Sarasota to meet their needs,” said Megan Howell, founder and executive director of Second Heart Homes. “In comparison to homeless men, homeless women have higher rates of mental illness, chronic health issues, trauma, addiction and abuse. For most, sexual abuse or domestic violence is the root cause of their homelessness, yet many return their abusers when they can’t find long-term housing.”

“We applaud Second Heart Home for using the ‘housing first’ model which is effective in getting people back on track,” says Teri A Hansen, President|CEO of Barancik Foundation. “They already have had a positive impact as our community struggles with a housing crisis, so we hope others will help with this important work.” According to recent reports from the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness, more than 200 women in our community are currently homeless.  

Pictured: Denise and Mary Anne, recently assisted and housed by Second Heart Homes. Photo courtesy of the nonprofit

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