Friday, May 24

SleepOut events work to end homelessness in Palm Beach County

The Lord’s Place’s 17th annual SleepOut event took place in West Palm Beach on Friday showcasing efforts to end homelessness in Palm Beach County.

“Fighting the homeless problem in this county, it’s possible,” Richard Phillips, a client with the Lord’s Place, said. “We can do it. We just have to work all on the same page. We have to be all doing, going in the same direction.”

The event was held at Fortin Family Campus along Australian Avenue, the organization’s headquarters.

“This place was instrumental in getting me off the streets and getting me clean eight years ago,” Phillips said. “It means the world to me.”

The event encouraged people to sleep somewhere other than their beds Friday night to experience what people battling homelessness go through every day.

The organization said there is an estimated 3,000 men, women and children without a home on any given night in Palm Beach County

SleepOut welcomed clients, volunteers, advocates and philanthropists to the event. Those who have benefited gave their testimonials on their experience through the Lord’s Place.

The event was also a fundraiser for funds to help with the organization’s resources, programs and services.

“Everyone works together from the person that’s a day on the street, their first day on the street, to the person like me, who got eight years and has graduated a program like this who’s still active in the program, all of us have to work together,” Phillips said.

The Lord’s Place has been helping the community for 45 years.

According to the organization, the Fortin Family Campus provides training and support services including the operation of its Joshua catering social enterprise, job training and placement services, clinical and care coordination, community engagement services and a reentry program helping men and women transitioning from incarceration.

The agency also owns or rents 15 supportive and graduate housing locations, as well as 47 scattered site apartments, to help house about 275 individuals every night.

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