Second Heart Homes expands homeless outreach to Manatee County
BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - A mental health and supportive-housing program for homeless adults in Sarasota is expanding its work into Manatee County.
Second Heart Homes recently purchased a property in Bradenton on June 9, expanding its program capacity to serve 43 men and women. Homelessness is up 25 percent in Manatee County since September, and more than 65 percent of those are homeless for the first time.
Second Heart Homes’ high-touch, tailored-services approach sets it apart from other homelessness nonprofits by providing long-term housing and care that revives dignity, establishes stability, and teaches independence. Clients come to the organization based on their commitment to address their mental and physical health, remain sober and achieve personal goals toward self-sufficiency. Many later rejoin the community.
“Pandemic economic woes and runaway inflation have accelerated affordable housing and mental-health crises,” said Megan Howell, founder and executive director of Second Heart Homes. “Community support helped us rapidly extend our program to meet this urgent community need.”
The purchase of the new property was enabled by a $300,000 grant from Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation. Other community leaders came together quickly to support the purchase, too, Howell said.
Since being founded in 2019, the organization has provided its clients with more than 10,000 nights of living off the street. This has helped alleviate the strain on emergency and other social services personnel to care for homeless individuals, as well as the prevalence of panhandling.
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