Sharing our bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless, clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own. – Isaiah 58:7
Holy Ground was designated a Holy Ground was also selected 2016 Extraordinary Charity by: as a participating charity by:
Dear Holy Ground PBC Family,
As these challenging and uncertain times continue, I want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all of you who have checked in on us, prayed for us and our young families, and made donations to help us through to date. We will never be able to thank you enough.
Because you are an essential part of our Holy Ground family, I thought you would like to know that — so far — we are managing, thanks to our local community and to caring people like you!
First and foremost, we are deeply grateful that all of our young moms and their children remain healthy, despite the rising numbers in our state as well as in Palm Beach County. We continue to do daily wellness checks with all of our clients, and we employ stringent daily sanitizing routines.
I also want to assure you that every one of Holy Ground PBC’s dedicated staff members has been and is going above and beyond to meet the changing needs of our families and to keep our mission moving forward.
As those of you who live in Palm Beach County know, everyone two years of age and older is now mandated to wear masks in public places. Thanks to generous donations of homemade masks, all of our moms and their children have a supply of masks. We were also able to obtain a large supply from the Florida Department of Health for our staff, mentors and volunteers.
We have also been able to secure grant funding that is helping us to provide our young families with food, diapers, cleaning and sanitation supplies, and other necessities while they are out of work or working at reduced hours. Our Maintenance Coordinator, Ms. Candy, has graciously volunteered to do the grocery shopping for our clients to reduce their off-campus exposure.
Our staff continues to regularly connect with our young moms through Facetime and Zoom. When face-to-face meetings are necessary, they social-distance and use masks. Our clients also continue to participate in regular professional counseling through Facetime sessions with Ms. Monique Taylor-Lincoln, our psychotherapist. Some of our children are also receiving supportive counseling through the Center for Child Counseling.
A few of our young moms are beginning to return to work, but at drastically reduced hours. We are verifying that their workplaces employ sufficient safety practices, so that our clients have minimal risk of exposure.
Our amazing mentors are engaging our clients through bi-weekly Zoom meetings, which have included cooking lessons, yoga exercises, virtual birthday celebrations, and other fun and entertaining things. They have also initiated a mother/child-focused newsletter, The Children’s Corner, which is filled with wonderful tidbits of wisdom, helpful resources and ideas, and suggested activities for mom and child. Client accomplishments, big and small, are also applauded.
Speaking of accomplishments, one of our clients will be completing our program on August 1! We are currently planning a virtual graduation celebration for her. Selena has stayed laser-focused on her personal goals and has worked very hard during her time with us. When she graduates from our program, she will face a far brighter future for herself and her daughter than when she first knocked at our door.
She holds down two jobs – one at a local bank and one at a local grocery store. She has a reliable car and a savings account… and she has a family that she knows will always have her back. We are extremely proud of her!
We are also very proud of the littlest members of our Holy Ground family. With donated supplies and step-by-step instructions, they painted those very polished-looking works of art that we highlighted on our website (shown again below). The activity gave them a sense of accomplishment, and gave their moms a little break while their children were occupied with their paintbrushes – a win-win situation!
We know the road ahead will not be easy and life as we once knew it, prior to this pandemic, may never be the same. Yet, if we keep moving forward, lifted in faith and caring for one another, we will get through this. Our attitude thus far has been to stay calm, work extra hard, and be as creative and forward-thinking as humanly possible… and to always trust that God is the Great Provider!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for continuing to journey with us.
Blessings to all,
Phyllis Turner Jepson
Executive Director, Holy Ground PBC
Dear Holy Ground PBC Friends,
I hope this notice finds you and yours healthy and navigating this global crisis with strength, compassion, and a sense of peace. We are all facing unprecedented challenges, and my thoughts and prayers are especially with those directly impacted by the virus.
I wanted to share some information on the steps that Holy Ground PBC has taken to protect our clients since the onset of this crisis.
- We have implemented our Epidemic-Specific Disaster Plan, which addresses the various condition levels (Watch, Alert, Epidemic, and Recovery) with accompanying action items for both staff and clients.
- We have provided all of Holy Ground’s residential clients with comprehensive packets covering information about the Novel Coronavirus, along with steps on how to protect themselves, their children and the Holy Ground PBC community at large. Holy Ground’s Board and Staff received a similar packet.
We diligently employ infection control procedures on our campuses, and we constantly monitor information and directives being issued on national, state and local levels and adjust accordingly. Though staff over the age of 60 are now working remotely, we maintain a staff presence on site and remain in constant contact with all of our clients, including daily wellness checks.
Additionally, because we recognize that this unprecedented crisis will also have serious financial implications, we have taken the following steps in an attempt to ensure a continuity of essential services (shelter, food, and medical services):
- Applied for any available coronavirus-related grants sponsored by local foundations
- Reached out to other funders to line up additional financial assistance in the event it is needed
- Reduced some of our non-essential wraparound services
- Decreased staff work hours; in addition, staff will receive no pay increase in 2020… all of which, I want to share with you, was received by staff with a spirit of “we are all in this together.”
Two thirds of our clients have already lost their jobs, and we expect more losses to come. Additionally, many of the daycare facilities supported by the Early Learning Coalition have suspended services. Therefore, the expenses necessary to see our young families through this crisis are projected to significantly increase.
To minimize expenditures as much as possible, we are reaching out to various food banks. Our board, staff and mentors are responding to our call to assist in providing food and other essential supplies for our clients and I, personally, have committed to donating a meaningful portion of my monthly salary back to Holy Ground PBC during the duration of this crisis.
Our daily realities today are certainly vastly different from what they were just a few weeks ago, and there are many challenges ahead. To those of you who have already made a special donation, know that we are deeply grateful for your support. We ask all of our supporters who are in the position to do so to also consider making a donation… every dollar will make a critical impact.
In gratitude and in trust that God is the Great Provider,
Phyllis Turner Jepson
Our Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
Above is a small sample of the photos from the event, but you can enjoy all the photos here! Top: Holy Ground’s board and staff proudly show off the new property sign.
Bottom, left: Fr Seamus Murtagh, Danielle Hickox Moore and Mrs Lesly Smith doing the honors. Bottom, right: One of Holy Ground’s little ones is thrilled with her new home!
All photos above © TRACEY BENSON PHOTOGRAPHY
Why we so strongly believe in Holy Ground’s long-term, independent living model:
This 5-minute video depicts a theory of change from the Frontiers of Innovation community for achieving breakthrough outcomes for vulnerable children and families. It describes the need to focus on building the capabilities of caregivers and strengthening the communities that together form the environment of relationships essential to children’s lifelong learning, health, and behavior.
To read more about our program…click here!
TO SUPPORT THE WORK OF HOLY GROUND:
Holy Ground PBC 200 W. 20th Street Riviera Beach, FL 33404 Phone: (561) 355-5040 E-mail
A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services (www.FloridaConsumerHelp.com) by calling toll-free (800-435-7352) within the state. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state. Holy Ground Shelter for Homeless, Inc.’s registration number is CH36565.
You can also support our work by designating Holy Ground as your preferred charity when you shop on Amazon. For details, click here.
HOLY GROUND PBC IS A
PROUD MEMBER OF:
Homeless and Housing Alliance of Palm Beach County
Heartfelt gratitude to all of our supporters who are so generously supporting our work. We are especially grateful to the following individuals, foundations and charities:
- Great Charity Challenge
- Palm Beach Diocese – Council of Catholic Women
- Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church (Lantana) – Council of Catholic Women
- School Sisters of Notre Dame
- Split Rock Foundation
- Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa
- Ms. Eva Hill
- Extraordinary Charities
- Quantum Foundation
- Mary Alice Fortin Foundation of Florida, Inc.
- Cathleen McFarlane Charitable Foundation, Inc.
- Seasiders of Palm Beach Shores
- Mr. and Mrs. Francis Hogan
- Mr. and Mrs. Richard Martens
- Mr. Cecil Birch
- Bethesda by the Sea Mission and Outreach Committee
- The International Society of Palm Beach
- St. Patrick Catholic Church – Palm Beach Gardens, FL
- The JC Foundation
- The Father’s Table Foundation
- The Friars of Atonement – Graymoor
And heartfelt gratitude, as well, to our partners in providing our clients with the best possible services:
- DePorres P.L.A.C.E.
- St. Vincent de Paul Society – St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Church
- Club 100 Charities Food Bank
- Work Force Alliance
- St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church
- Community Partners