South Brevard Sharing Center: Central Florida Humanitarian
By Maria Sonnenberg, Space Coast Medicine & Active Living // October 17, 2014
ABOVE VIDEO: The South Brevard Sharing Center has evolved into a multi-program charity that while still remaining true to its original goals, now also addresses issues such as job readiness, affordable housing, addiction recovery, life skills training and parenting.
Empowering Families To Achieve Self-Sufficiency
CENTRAL FLORIDA, USA – As the economy spiraled downward in recent years, South Brevard Sharing Center coped with increased demand and diminished funding, yet the nonprofit was able to continue its mission to support, strengthen and empower Brevard families to achieve self-sufficiency.
This grassroots organization, created 40 years ago by four local church women’s groups, began life as a program to supply local residents with food and clothing.
The Sharing Center has since evolved into a multi-program charity that while still remaining true to its original goals, now also addresses issues such as job readiness, affordable housing, addiction recovery, life skills training and parenting.
Under the leadership of executive director Michael Hubler, the Sharing Center serves more than 2,000 individuals per month.
Basic needs assistance, which includes food, health and hygiene items, clothing, household goods, furnishings and rent and utilities, remains a core service to help lift families out of survival mode and into a position where they can focus on breaking out of poverty.
A five-to-one buying power through Second Harvest Food Bank allows the Sharing Center to purchase five dollars’ worth of food for every dollar spent.
The Sharing Center partners with and supports eight drug and alcohol recovery houses and a six-month Vision of Hope program to break the cycle of addiction, the number one cause of homelessness.
Job clubs are in place in four churches throughout southern Brevard. The Sharing Center assists Brevard Workforce and AARP with these clubs that help job-seekers build the network and skills needed to secure employment.
ASSISTS HOMELESS, HELPS FAMILIES BECOME SELF SUFFICIENT
Family First, a program of financial, life skills and parenting training, helps families become self-sufficient by taking control of finances, maintaining a budget, enhancing their skills for better jobs and improving parenting skills.
Families are provided with a laptop and instruction on the You-Need-A-Budget method as coaches assist in monthly budget planning and prioritization.
Coaches also help families with job seeking, obtaining after-school care for children and transportation to jobs. The program morphed into the Steady Family Program last year and went countywide within the public schools.
The Sharing Center partnered with Melbourne High School Future Problem Solvers to create the Fostering Connections Program, which serves foster teens with academic and basic needs so they can finish high school successfully.
Together with partner Center Pointe Church, the Sharing Center assisted in the distribution of 2,150 backpacks with supplies and helped orchestrate dental and medical screenings and haircuts for youngsters from impoverished families.
During the Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter holidays, the Center provides healthy meals, along with toys for needy children. Last year, 1,000 holiday meals and 600 toys, including 150 bikes, were distributed.
Working with local property owners and partner agencies, the Sharing Center is able to connect homeless families with safe, decent places to live.
Through these services, South Brevard Sharing Center served 12,000 of Brevard’s neediest citizens in 2013.
“Most of the families we see are working, but do not make enough to house and feed their children,” said Hubler.
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ABOUT THE 2014 CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN AWARDS
The Central Florida Humanitarian Awards were created to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that dedicate their Time, Talent or Treasure to help people in need locally – and around the world.
This year, more than 30 deserving humanitarians will be honored during the Gala, which will be held Thursday, Nov. 6 at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place, with the festivities beginning at 6 p.m.
“Over the years, our editorial team has had the distinct honor and pleasure of identifying and featuring the many members of our community who give back so much and are dedicated to reaching out and helping others, here and throughout the world, in a multitude of ways,” said Maverick Multimedia Editor-In-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo.
“We remain firmly committed to identifying and telling those stories and providing a timely media platform to recognize Space Coast and Central Florida residents’ altruistic contributions on a regular basis in our magazines, as well as SpaceCoastDaily.com,” said Dr. Palermo.
This inspiring and compelling event is sponsored by M.H. Williams Construction, Brighthouse Networks, Health First, Brevard Physicians Network, Clear Choice Health Care, First Choice Medical Group, Knudson Brain & Spine Law Injury Office, Florida Pain Institute, Sangiv Patel, DDS, PA, Brevard Geriatrics, Space Coast Medicine & Active Living magazine and SpaceCoastDaily.com
BELOW MAP: The 2014 Central Florida Humanitarian Awards will take place Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014 at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place, located at 200 Rialto Place in Melbourne, Florida.