As some of you may or may not know, our homeless shelter community, Grace House–which provides temporary emergency housing, programs and services for hundreds of children and their families each year–lost a significant amount of government funding. That funding underwrote nearly 85 percent of its annual operating budget.
As you can imagine, this presents a major challenge for us. Not only are nearly 50 percent of all family shelter units available in Pinellas County at risk; several full-time jobs are at risk, as well. There is never a good time to lose employment; however, there has been no worse time than now.
During a recent meeting with the Grace House team, I noticed a cute little girl eating a cupcake as she followed her mother down the sidewalk, headed to their Grace House apartment. As I was addressing the staff, I could not help but watch her and her family as they innocently headed in for the day. As I looked out the window, I thought to myself, “She has no idea what we are discussing right now. Her only focus is eating that sweet cupcake and walking home with her mommy. She did not ask to be homeless—to be displaced and away from her friends—but she is making the best of her situation.”
As a sweet little girl, she deserves to only have to focus on enjoying her cupcake and having fun.
She and her family deserve to have shelter, a safe a clean place to lay their heads at night.
There is no need for her to worry about funding for Grace House, or whether her mom’s key would work when she tries to open the door to their apartment.
It is my job to do whatever it takes to keep the proverbial lights on and the water running so she can wash her hands and face after eating her messy, delicious cupcake.
Kids deserve cupcakes, not homelessness.
While I am confident that this community will pull together with us here at Hope Villages to sustain, and ultimately grow Grace House to serve even more families, I believe it will take God’s divine hand and intervention to get us where we need to be.
Because the HVA team and this community are no cupcakes, I am convinced Grace House doors will remain open. That said, I look forward to the day when no child has to deal with being homeless and can just simply enjoy a cupcake.
And I know one more thing: When this all over, I am going to have me a cupcake!
Answer the call to the cause by helping us protect that little girl and allowing her to enjoy her cupcake in peace!
I appreciate you!