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Brevard C.A.R.E.S. Prevention Success Story

By Jessica Miles, MA, Brevard C.A.R.E.S., Program Manager

Coordinating, Advocating, providing Resources, opportunities for Education and building Supportive capacities is the essence of what C.A.R.E.S. strives to provide for every family we serve. The beauty of coordinating is the collaboration and teamwork fostered through empowering the families as well as each team member to work toward the common goals of the family. I am always excited to share stories of how this wonderful collaboration and teamwork helps make dreams come true for families in need.

We recently received a homeless family in desperate need of permanent housing and stability after being homeless and living in their car for over a year. The team consisted of a mother, father, and their two daughters, one of whom had Down Syndrome.

Added to the team were: DCF Child Protective Investigator Adrian Castaneda, who was able to get his Priest to pay for a night hotel stay as well as personal hygiene products for the family, Brevard C.A.R.E.S. Housing Specialist Natacha Walker, who secured a foster home for the family cats, as these were vital to the family’s well-being, Hope Village Manager Susan Rushin, who provided shelter support for five days until housing could be established, Jeff Milz, General Manager at Walmart provided the family with a $25 gift card to purchase any essential items after he heard the story of the family and felt compelled to assist, Care Coordinator Peter Tessier, and Family Partner, Judi Osborne who facilitated the family team meetings and provided a referral for family counseling with Susan Aery from Caribbean Community Connection of Orlando to further assist the family with their emotional needs, as well as the friends/family that have assisted with hotel rooms, temporary shelter, and food.

Although the family continues to have challenges, the strength of the team continuing to meet weekly with the family to help them press towards the goal of self-sufficiency is commendable. Everyone has come together as one to help fight alongside this family and I am extremely proud of this team who have exemplified the “Whatever It Takes” attitude.

To find out more about our services, visit Brevard C.A.R.E.S website at: