These are just a few of the many people we've helped in Martin County.

Names have been changed to protect their privacy.

Sharon is a single mother with two minor children, one of whom is her nephew. Sharon fell behind on all monthly bills after gaining custody of her nephew last year. DCF had advised her that they would assist her financially with state benefits for her nephew, but it would take up to four months before benefits would start. In the meantime, she had to pay out-of-pocket for day care, food, diapers, clothing and other necessities that her special-needs nephew desperately required. Sharon loved her nephew and wanted to be able to provide him with what he needs, including his medical expenses and oxygen equipment. She is employed full-time and when she started receiving social security benefits and other funding for her nephew, she knew she would be able to make ends meet. She just needed help getting caught up on her bills in the meantime - water bill, FPL bill, car payment and car insurance. Salvation Army Social Services made a one-time payment for all these bills in order to help Sharon get back on her feet. We also provided Sharon with Christmas gifts for the children from our Angel Tree program. Sharon wrote a letter of deep appreciation stating that because we helped her with these bills, she was able to obtain the medical equipment for her nephew and have gifts for the children at Christmas.

When Kelly’s sister died suddenly in front of her two small children, they were immediately placed in foster care. Kelly fought long and hard to get custody, using much of her savings to pay for travel to Ohio for court hearings. She was finally successful in obtaining custody and brought the children to Florida to live with her and her own two children. A week later, she lost her job. Within six weeks, Kelly and the four kids were evicted and, with nowhere else to turn, she sought shelter at Compassion House. The five shared a room and were given nourishing meals and vouchers for clothing. Kelly’s niece and nephew were exhibiting emotional behaviors so staff arranged for them to meet with counselors that specialize in traumatic grief. After completing job skills classes, Kelly got not only one job but two! Compassion House arranged for her to get free daycare for the youngest and found resources for after-school care for the older children. Kelly saved enough to move into an apartment and was given vouchers for furnishings from our thrift store. Kelly shared with us that she never could have made it without the support from Compassion House. “Without Compassion House helping me and the children, we would be on the street or my children would have to go into foster homes. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for saving me, saving my family and showing us that Compassion House truly lives up to its name.”

Stephanie is a young woman who lives with her disabled mother, father and disabled brother. Stephanie and her dad were the main source of income for the family. On Thanksgiving Day, Stephanie’s father had a massive stroke and was rushed to the hospital. He still remains paralyzed and is unable to even complete his daily living skills. Stephanie’s mother, who suffers from a nervous condition, is trying to take care of him and her disabled son by herself. Stephanie's mother applied for SSD, Medicaid and cash assistance. The family is very close-knit and Stephanie and her mother were very emotional when they met with us, wondering how they were going to pay the bills on time. They requested help with food and rent. Salvation Army Social Services gave the family several bags of groceries and paid their rent which was overdue. We also provided them with additional resources that could help them until the SSD and cash assistance was approved. Stephanie has called us numerous times thanking us for helping her family.

Carmen has a family of seven. Her spouse was unemployed for several months last fall. Through our Angel Tree program, Carmen received a gift card to purchase her family’s Thanksgiving dinner and in December, her children received wonderful toys from the Angel Tree program. In January, her spouse found a new job but they received an eviction notice due to having fallen behind in paying their rent while he was unemployed. Carmen sought emergency financial assistance from us for the rent. The family had received a notice from the landlord that the amount of $1800 needed to be paid or they’d be evicted. We were able to pay $600, and began making calls to other agencies to come up with the rest of the amount due. Thanks to our collaboration with two other Martin County agencies we were able to prevent a family of seven from becoming homeless. Carmen was so grateful for all of our assistance and stated that thanks to us, the family can begin again and get back on their feet.

Mr. Thompson is a low-income client who visits us regularly for free bread and coffee. He is well below poverty level. He recently became so ill that he had to visit the emergency room. The hospital sent him home with four prescriptions to fill. He knew he needed the medicines very badly but he didn’t know how he would be able to pay for them. Mr. Thompson sought assistance from the Salvation Army and we paid for all four prescriptions. Mr. Thompson was so grateful for our help.

Susan came to Compassion House in 2014 when the chaplain from the police department dropped her off. Susan has had a very troubled life in her short 18 years. She was taken away from her mother by DCF at a very young age because of neglect and abuse. Consequently, she never had a stable family and lived in foster homes. Susan has a history of being in abusive relationships with men. She has a one-year-old baby who was taken from her at birth because the baby’s father was drunk at the hospital and had a history of abusing Susan. When Susan came to Compassion House, she took our job skills classes and got jobs in two local restaurants. She also took her GED class and passed. Susan enrolled in parenting classes and the court promised to give her custody of her child once she was financially stable and had stable housing. Compassion House gave her resources for free mental health counseling along with the parenting classes. Susan completed her budgeting classes and saved enough for her first month’s rent. After inspection of Susan's new apartment, her caseworker recommended that she regain custody of her child. Compassion House referred Susan to several resources including our own Salvation Army thrift store where she received a crib, bedding and other baby necessities along with furniture for her new apartment. Susan stated in her exit survey that she never could have done this without Compassion House. Her life was spiraling out of control and Compassion House offered her a lifeline. “If it wasn’t for Compassion House, I would have lost custody of my baby forever. I am a good mom and can provide for my baby now, thanks to Compassion House.”

Samuel came in for mortgage assistance. He was at wit’s end when he came to the Salvation Army. He felt discouraged because he was three months behind on his mortgage and had received a notice of foreclosure. He was on a fixed income and became late on his mortgage when his cousin, to whom he had offered a temporary place to live at his house, stole all of the money in his bank account to buy drugs. He asked his cousin to leave but was left short on that month’s rent and subsequent months after that. Samuel needed assistance in paying for his back mortgage payments totaling close to $1700 to avoid foreclosure. The Caseworker sought the collaboration of two other agencies for help in paying the sum. The mortgage company did not want to cooperate in completing the necessary forms that the Salvation Army and the other two agencies require in order to be able to assist. The Caseworker researched other avenues for Samuel to get assistance and suggested he go to a website called Florida’s Hardest Hit to apply for mortgage assistance. He confessed he didn’t know the first thing about computers so the Caseworker helped him complete the forms and submit the necessary documents to the other agency’s caseworker. The Salvation Army Caseworker continued to assist Samuel in submitting necessary forms and returning emails to the other agency until he was approved for mortgage assistance and was able to save his home.

Sarah came to Compassion House seeking shelter after being left homeless by choosing to leave her drug and alcohol-consuming life. With nowhere to turn, no job and no money, she came hoping that the Salvation Army could help her turn her life around. After being clean for some time, she was accepted in to Compassion House where she began her journey to success. Sarah attended our computer training class, group therapy sessions, money management classes, weekly case management sessions, and college education workshops diligently in an effort to regain all that she had lost. She was referred to CareerSource and encouraged to meet with counselors there to explore her options and pursue her employment interests. Within two months she had secured fulltime employment with a local rehabilitation center. Sarah thrived at her job and within weeks of employment we were able to find her affordable housing just five minutes from her job. She moved out and continues to call and update us here at Compassion House on her continued success and appreciation for all that she was able to accomplish in her short time here.