BREVARD COUNTY — Sometimes the hardest thing in life can be asking for help, and the difference to be made when you pluck up the courage to ask for it is inspiring.
New Life Mission has been changing the lives of homeless women with children under the age of 17 in Brevard County one family at a time. Formerly known as Brevard Rescue Mission, the nonprofit changed its title to better fit what it’s trying to accomplish.
Seeking shelter is difficult enough under normal circumstances, but with the Coronavirus pandemic, women are forced into a more challenging situation to keep themselves and their children safe.
New Life Mission is currently accepting applicants for its apartment housing, and is working toward filling its eight cottages with “students” (women already established in its program that are ready to take a more independent step).
“Every weekend now since May we’ve seen an increase in the need of the community,” said Ann-Marie Britt, development director at NLM. “A lot of them we source out because we only take women and children.”
Knowing your resources is one of the most challenging aspects homeless families have, Ms. Britt said. Students are largely referred to New Life Mission through word of mouth or churches.
Students who enter placement at New Life Mission will live in one of two apartment complexes at first, and they can stay with the nonprofit from six months to two-plus years.
Even after “graduation,” New Life Mission continues to assist women when they have moved into independent housing.
“We saw them very clearly as freshman, and they need everything from us, like literally ‘what do I do next?’” Ms. Britt said. “We saw other students who are like, ‘I’ve got this, I’ve been here a year, I know what to do now,’ and that’s when we realized that’s more of a privilege to move into the cottages.”
New Life Mission provides housing, access to health care, transportation, education, nutrition, job training and life skills education in a safe setting. It all began with founder Stacia Glavas befriending a woman in need.
Mrs. Glavas and her husband were taking a walk when they found a woman named Julia having an asthma attack, according to NLM’s website. The Glavas’ helped the woman and her little girl home and found them to be living in such a poor condition.
This moved Mrs. Glavas beyond providing a “quick fix” and by befriending Julia, she was able to support and guide her to having a self-sufficient life.
“We want them to feel loved and rise up because we do ask for commitment,” Ms. Britt said. “They go through a financial program with us, they have Bible study, they have life skills classes to teach them how to parent. Every student has a case manager that oversees their specific needs.”
Through the Transformed Shop, items such as cloth masks, denim purses and earrings that are hand-made by the students who live on campus are available for purchase online at newlife-mission.org/our-shop.
Students have learned to heal as they bond with each other while creating wares in the sewing center, Ms. Britt said. They also get the chance to learn how to cook together in the new Life Skills building.
Students who have felt that there was no hope have grown to see that there is a beautiful future for them and their children. New Life Mission has a 90% success rate for mothers maintaining a livable wage and secure housing.
New Life Mission is offering individuals private tours of its campus and appointments can be scheduled by calling Ms. Britt at (321) 480-9100 Ext. 107.
For more information, visit www.newlife-mission.org or call (321) 480-9100.