Local Food Banks And Homeless Shelters Struggling
The Saint Francis House in Gainesville almost ran out of food over the weekend, but thanks to some last minute support from members of the community, they're okay for now.
Organizers say it was a close call, and a scary thought for the people who depend on them.
"It's really hard to be a single mom here," said Sabrina Redish. "It's a blessing what we do got. But it's still hard. It's hard to get back up."
Life hasn't been easy for Sabrina Redish. She lost her husband and daughter in a car accident two years ago. And now, she lives at the Saint Francis House in Gainesville trying to get back on her feet.
"It's tough," said Redish. "But you know, it's still a blessing because if it wasn't for Saint Francis, I'd be on the street with my three-year old."
But organizers of the place Redish calls home says times are even getting pretty tough for them.
Kent Vann, executive director of the Saint Francis House, says more people are coming to him for help, and fewer donations of food and money are coming in.
"The economy's affecting everyone, and we understand that and you know, when you're poor, it's even harder," said Vann. "It hits home quick."
A quick hit to people like Redish who say they have nowhere else to go for those meals or a place to sleep.
"The people here seem to really care," said Redish. "I mean, like I said, if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have my three-year old boy here. And that's all I have left in my life. I don't have family. My family's dead and gone. All I have is my son. And they saved me."
There are now more than 1800 homeless people in Alachua County. That's about a 40 percent increase from last year. Advocates from the Alachua County Office on Homelessness say Saint Francis House is not alone. Other food banks and non-profits are also seeing similar effects from the economy.
How To Help:
If you would like to help the Saint Francis House, they are currently accepting food donations, hygene products, and monetary donations.
Currently, there most needed items are:
frozen meats (chicken, turkey, and ground beef)
large cans of vegetables (such as corn)
To make A Monetary Contribution to the Saint Francis House, send to
P.O. Box 12491
Gainesville, FL 32604
Or, call them at (352) 378-9079, to make a donation on your Visa, Mastercard or American Express.
If you would like to volunteer at the St. Francis House, please call (352)378-9079 and ask for Samantha.
For any additional questions, please contact Kent Vann, the executive director at (352)378-9079 Ext. 320
Other Non-Profits In Our Area:
Interfaith Hospitality Network
Gainesville Community Ministry
Fire of God Ministries
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