This Homeless Shelter Shows It Really Does Take a Village
Homelessness plagues many communities in the country. New York, L.A., and Seattle top the list of cities with the biggest homeless populations. And while each of these cities has certain measures in place to help its most vulnerable residents, they could learn a thing or two from Palm Beach County, Florida, where one group is going above and beyond.
The Pat Reeves Village is a small but mighty emergency homeless shelter. There, the doors at the village are always open to children, families, and any person in need of an immediate rooftop or welcome beds for the night — 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
What makes this shelter stand out is its neighbor, the Henrietta Bridge Farm, which is a community-focused farm and community garden. The farm and garden not only help feed residents of the Village, they also provide skills that can last a lifetime. They teach low-cost techniques that are used to help supply one of Palm Beach’s 27 designated food deserts with fresh produce.
The compound provides housing, food, as well as after-school tutoring, employment counseling, budget consultations, and assistance with rent, mortgage, and utilities for those who need it in the community.
And none of this would happen without the help of volunteers. They have pitched in painting the apartments, maintaining the grounds, and helping the shelter and farm continue nourishing Palm Beach.
While not all of us can open shelters, soup kitchens, or community farms, we can all give our time to support these groups. Global Citizen campaigns on providing education, food, and clean water in conflict and emergencies all over the world. Volunteering is the closest way to see how these issues are everywhere, even in our communities.
Last year, Comcast NBCUniversal employees took this idea to heart at the innovative Pat Reeves Village. Comcast Cares Day volunteers painted the inside and outside of the apartments, performed maintenance of the grounds, including landscaping, planting, and cleaning debris, and additional tasks to enhance the shelter and farm.
This year, Global Citizens can help too. Sign up to volunteer. Learn more about programs at the Pat Reeves Village here. And click the "Join Us" button to tell other Global Citizens how you give back to your community.