Florida Resurrection House, a nonprofit dedicated to ending the cycle of generational poverty for families in the Tampa Bay area, is the latest recipient of funding from 100 Women Who Care St. Petersburg.
The organization, one of hundreds across the country, was founded in March 2020 with the goal of giving away $10,000 in one hour, four times a year. It works like this: during their meetings, 100 women attend bringing $100 each. Three nonprofits pitch their funding needs and at the end of the meeting, a vote is taken. The nonprofit with the highest number of votes wins the money.
“We didn’t have a vision to change the world ourselves. We knew there were women that had the vision to change the world and our community,” co-founder Lauren Brigman told the small group gathered in person and online at Wednesday’s quarterly meeting. “There was no way anyone in this room could have predicted the pandemic. Who knows what might come in the next couple of months? But we know that one of the three nonprofits here will receive a blessing tonight.”
The other nonprofits at Wednesday’s meeting were:
- The Children’s Dream Fund, which was founded in 1981 with the sole purpose of fulfilling dreams for children ages 3-21 who live in West Central Florida who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
- The Sanderlin Center, a resource hub for children and families in South St. Pete that focuses on education, employment, and health and wellness.
During her presentation, Ellen McDonald, executive director of Florida Resurrection House, talked about the struggle that exists for people trapped in the cycle of generational poverty.
“It’s not a one-time job loss or multiple medical bills piling up but instead it is a system of circumstances and factors that create poverty in multiple generations in the same family,” she explained. “It will not likely end until significant outside intervention occurs.”
That’s where Florida Resurrection House comes in, McDonald said. The nonprofit has 15 apartments on its campus, and families are able to live there for one to three years. During this time, they’re given access to case management, which she referred to as the “lifeblood” of the program.
“In case management, they are given possibly the first relationship in their lives where somebody else is working toward helping them improve their lives and move toward self-sufficiency,” McDonald said.
Case managers will work with residents and help them gain access to services like trauma counseling, child care and educational opportunities, allowing them to set goals for their lives while their case manager cheers them on.
McDonald plans to use the donated funds to support the case management program and said that it will allow Resurrection House to provide case management for every resident on campus for six months.
“Thank you for supporting families and those waiting on our lists,” McDonald said after learning she’d gotten the most votes. “You are really going to change lives. We are so thankful for your support.”
Kay Dillenger, who was the first recipient of funding from 100 Women Who Care for The Beth Dillinger Foundation, spoke of the impact the donation had on her nonprofit, especially in light of the pandemic.
“One week after we received the donation, everything shut down,” said Dillenger, whose nonprofit provides emergency food supplies for children along with scholarship money. “Your contribution was worth its weight in gold.”