In Conversation with Philip Tavill and Kathleen Sullivan of Children First

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Children First, 1723 N Orange Ave, Sarasota. 941-953-3877. https://www.childrenfirst.net/

In the July/August 2022 edition of SRQ Magazine, we interviewed Philip Tavill, President & Chief Executive Officer, and Kathleen Sullivan, Vice President of Programs for Children First as part of our In Conversation feature about nonprofit leaders. Below is an excerpt published in the magazine in which Tavill and Sullivan share their insights with SRQ readers on community growth and changes.

As a result of so many people coming to Sarasota the housing prices have gone through the roof. What is the immediate challenge? And what kind of pressure is that putting in the community?

This impact is not only felt by our families that we serve, because they're coming to us typically, if not below the federal poverty level, at 130% of the federal poverty level. And believe me, that extra 30% does not get you Napa Valley and caviar, it's brutal. And, while folks may assume that many of our people live in the housing authority or have section eight vouchers, what many people don't know, even though we have a phenomenal housing authority, is that the waiting lists for housing authority units and section eight vouchers at times over the years has been so long you can't see the end of the line. So, it's a mechanism that helps a certain number, but it's brutal on our families, particularly when you have 70% single head of household, primarily women, many of them working two jobs. If they're lucky enough to have one full-time job, typically they have no benefits. So, rent consumes such a huge portion of what they make, and it's one of the reasons we exist, so they can be with us free of charge. Their children are doing well in excelling, we've got family strengthening support systems, and they can make rent, hopefully. 


Children First, 1723 N Orange Ave, Sarasota. 941-953-3877. https://www.childrenfirst.net/

To read the full article, click here.

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