As you get involved with people in need you will from time to time come across families with children that are either homeless or close to being on the street. There is generally plenty of help available for families with children. The key is to connect these families to sources of help as soon as possible. The streets of Pensacola are no place for children.
Families become homeless for the same reason individuals do. Their income simply falls below a certain level, they are evicted from their place of residence, and they have nowhere to go. A loss of job is generally the reason for their income issue. If this is the only problem then a new job and a little help will generally get them back on their feet. In situations where addiction or abuse is involved, a different approach would have to be taken. Remember, your job is to connect them with someone who can help. The main goal is to get the kids to a safe place, preferably with their parents. You are most likely not going to be equipped to solve their problems but there are people and organizations that are.
A great place to go for basic assistance is Ensley First Baptist Church at 50 Johnson Avenue. They sponsor the Nothing Lost Outreach which reaches out to the homeless. They provide food, showers, haircuts and the gospel to the down and out. They don’t just talk about doing something, they do it. If you talk with homeless people around the Davis Highway and Old Palafox area you will find that Ensley First Baptist and Pastor Jeff have a very good reputation. They can also use donations to continue the great work that they are doing. Their website is www.nothinglostoutreach.com.
The state of Florida also has an assistance program for families with children. The website address is www.myflorida.com/accessflorida . This program provides food, medical assistance and cash to families in need. The goal of the program is to keep families together. The physical address is 33 Brent Lane, Suite 103.