Saturday, April 13

Nonprofit Vita Nova partners with Boynton Beach to help homeless youths

The city of Boynton Beach is doing its part to give homeless youths a chance at getting their lives back on track. And a new partnership with local nonprofit, Vita Nova, is helping to make it possible.

WPTV anchor/reporter Janny Rodriguez met Alexandra Smiley at WPTV’s “Let’s Hear It” event in Boynton Beach.

“I work for a place called Vita Nova and we got a grant from the city of Boynton Beach, Smiley said.

She’s excited because that grant money of $200,000 will allow their outreach to touch more lives.

Let’s see how much good we can do with the money that we have now,” Smiley said.

Dezaria Mathis is one of the young people Vita Nova helped get a fresh start even before the new grant.

“Sometimes, you wonder, and you feel like when will I find hope or when will I find someone to understand me and help me and when I found them that’s exactly what I found,” Mathis said.

Vita Nova also helped Dezaria become a certified nursing assistant.

“They helped me get through the whole CNA program, so I actually graduated a little over a month ago,” Mathis said.

The new program, Boynton Beach Safe Haven, will focus specifically on helping homeless youth in Boynton Beach find housing and a job.

“Someone could be working and have worked quite a long time and just not be able to come up with lets say first, last and security, so theyre living in their car. These are students sleeping out in parking lots, these are people couch surfing,” Smiley said.

Because of that, Smiley says it’s a challenge identifying homeless youths.

“Thats why I’m here talking with you, to let anyone know if they need help, Im actually going to be working out of city hall,” Smiley said.

Every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m you can find Smiley in meeting room 107.

“Just come see me we’ll figure it out,” Smiley said.

Since Boynton Beach Safe Haven launched this year, Smiley has enrolled eight young adults.

She said spreading the word is how they will be able to reach someone in need.

Even if you or someone you know don’t live in Boynton Beach and need help with a job or housing you can call Vita Nova for help.

Smiley can be reached at 561-934-0473 and asmiley@vitanovainc.org.

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