TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Today, First Lady Casey DeSantis highlighted the continued successes of the Hope Florida initiative by releasing video testimonials from three Floridians served by Hope Florida.

“Through Hope Florida, we are showing what is possible when business and nonprofit leaders collaborate to help individuals unlock their God-given potential,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “Since its inception, nearly 20,000 Floridians have been helped off of public assistance programs and on to a path to prosperity.”

The new video, titled “Success in Hope,” follows three families who are now thriving thanks to the first-in-the-nation Hope Florida program. Through Hope Florida, those in need are paired with a Hope Navigator who connects them with employment opportunities, education resources, and customized plans for success made possible through volunteer contributors from businesses, community leaders, and nonprofits.

“Hope Florida serves as a national benchmark for the way in which government should be helping families be economically self-sufficient as opposed to reliant on government programs to survive,” said Department of Children and Families Secretary Shevaun Harris. “Hope Navigators are transcending the way we engage with Floridians in need, linking them to a robust network of providers, including employment resources. We are grateful for the First Lady’s steadfast leadership and desire to keep families thriving.”

Justin was homeless prior to being served by Hope Florida. A father of two, Justin was referred to Hope Florida and assigned to a Hope Navigator who went above and beyond to ensure that he and his family had every tool they needed to succeed. Justin credits the Hope Navigator for helping him eventually receive a full scholarship for Valencia College and through their apprentice program land a job that put him and his family “100 steps ahead.”

“My Hope Navigator… she was awesome, awesome, awesome. She literally would not stop calling me – checking on me, making sure I was ok, making sure the kids were ok,” Justin says in the video. “It was just a huge blessing to have her.”

Celia, a mother of three, was a student who was struggling with student loans and rent. While weighing quitting school and turning to government assistance, Celia was introduced to a Hope Navigator who encouraged her to continue her educational dreams. The Hope Navigator connected Celia with daycare resources, enabling her to finish school and land a full-time job.

“If you’re feeling down, if you’re feeling like you don’t have any hope, you need that help. There’s light for people. There was light for me,” Celia remarks in the video.

Mary Lou

Eight months into her pregnancy, Mary Lou experienced pregnancy complications that resulted in the tragic loss of her child. Feeling depressed, Mary Lou returned to work one week later to support her family, only to lose her job. Shortly after, she reached out to Hope Florida and was connected to a Hope Navigator who listened and helped lay out a specialized plan to navigate her difficult circumstances.

“It’s hard sometimes for some people to ask for help. Pride gets in the way – humbling to need help, in a way, as an adult. It can be hard. I would encourage anybody to take that step and reach out,” Mary Lou encourages in the video.

Through implementation at multiple state agencies, Hope Florida utilizes Hope Navigators to guide Floridians on an individualized path to prosperity and economic self-sufficiency by focusing on community collaboration between the private sector, faith-based communities, nonprofits, and government entities to break down traditional community silos, maximize support, and uncover new opportunities. Hope Navigators help individuals identify their unique and immediate needs, develop long-term goals, map out a strategic plan, and work to ensure all sectors of the community have a ‘seat at the table’ to be a key part of the solution.

For more information on Hope Florida, visit www.HopeFlorida.com. Floridians in need of support can call (850-300-HOPE).




Comments are closed.