Second Heart Homes serves Sarasota’s at-risk and homeless community by providing mental health services, permanent housing with wrap-around services, and comprehensive care plans.
(Sarasota, FL) Second Heart Homes, a nonprofit that offers support for the local at-risk and homeless community, has partnered with Patrick’s 1481 to present a fundraising event, April 26, 2-4 p.m., at Patrick’s 1481, 1481 Main Street, Sarasota. The event is free and features light bites, a live auction, and a presentation by Second Heart founders, Megan Howell and Barbara Raskowski. All funds raised will go to Second Heart Homes programs. Limited seating; RSVP recommended. For reservations, call Patrick’s 1481 at 941-955-1481. For more information about Second Heart Homes, visit www.SecondHeartHomes.org or call Megan Howell at 941-201-9353.
Megan Howell, co-founder and CEO of Second Heart Homes, says that she and Barbara Raskowski met when they both worked as waitresses at Patrick’s 1481. At the time, Howell was attending college to acquire her degree in psychology, while Raskowski was making ends meet as a single mother.
“There was a homeless gentleman who lived outside the restaurant for many years,” says Howell. “Through our time at Patrick’s, we bonded and were worried when he went missing one day. We found him and discovered he had almost died that night, and one thing led to another. We realized we just couldn’t keep looking away every time we saw someone living on the street.”
Howell explains that through investigation and sheer determination they were able to find him housing; he’s still off the streets almost four years later.
“This opened our eyes,” says Howell. “We realized if we made a difference for one person, we had a chance to help others. Our streets are crowded with the chronically homeless. We started thinking, what else can we do?”
The two established Second Heart Homes, Inc., in 2019. The organization serves Sarasota’s at-risk and homeless community by providing mental health services, permanent housing with wrap-around services, and comprehensive care plans that identify the specific needs of the individuals they serve. Second Heart Homes collaborates with other services and organizations in the community, including Centerstone, the 12th Judicial Circuit, Salvation Army, Resurrection House and the Sarasota Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Team.
“Think of us as the ‘special ops of the mental health housing community,” says Raskowski, co-founder and vice-president. “Many of our clients are deemed non-restorable and have historically fallen through the cracks. We look at them as people, analyze their specific circumstances, and apply a plan that is sensitive to their needs and ultimately gets them off the streets and enhances their quality of life.”
Jack Sullivan, the owner of Patrick’s 1481, says he’s honored to be part of the effort.
“I live downtown and have owned a business on Main Street for 34 years, so I’m witness to the homeless issues that are evident on our streets. Kudos to Megan and Barbara. Through their efforts they are providing permanent housing and mental health services to get people off the street and into their own space to live. They are making a difference!”
Second Heart Homes, Inc. Second Heart Homes is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing permanent housing to those with mental illness who have experienced or are at-risk of homelessness. Through its Second Heart Program, it operates three Sarasota properties that house 16 individuals. SHH creates layers of support for its clients by providing housing, daily support, mentorship, customized workshops, tight community collaboration and, of course, love. SHH’s goal is to provide long-term solutions that revive dignity and enhance quality of life through self-sufficiency. To learn more, visit www.SecondHeartHomes.org