Rebuilding Lives One at a Time

Mother and Son

Lakia’s story represents a special example of how our community can come together to rebuild lives, especially for women with few options. Where do young pregnant, single mothers in desperate need of help turn when crisis strikes?

Lakia (not her real name) and her infant son had left her home town to stay with other family members. Led to believe she’d be welcome, Lakia quickly learned the promises of schooling and child care were as empty as the refrigerator…

Fortunately, she and her son found The Path. Once here, Lakia was showered with love from the other women in The Path’s house for women. Her son received plenty of attention from mothers who missed their own absent children.

Lakia and her Case Manager agreed that she would travel by bus, made possible through funds donated by a local charitable organization, to a destination with a large group of friends and family—her strongest support system. While waiting for the departure date, her case manager worked on strengthening her for the next steps in her life.

She was counseled in parenting skills and techniques. Lakia was provided clothing, much-needed baby supplies, and encouraged in her self-worth as a woman in spite of past mistakes. Often she exclaimed how safe and loved she felt. On her departure day, Lakia and a senior staff member prayed for a safe journey—a prayer she led, perhaps for the first time.

The bus driver, a compassionate Christian and answer to her prayers, allowed her extra luggage on board! Together as a community we make a difference by showing love to strangers in significant ways. We pray to help more single mothers in similar situations.

The Path is currently working on the final public phase of a capital campaign to raise $500K for renovating the former Beverly Hills Motel complex, and continue the vision established by The Path in 2001. The complex is ideally suited as a “Family Rescue Mission” to shelter single parents with their children or families together.

The complex also allows for expansion of successful case-managed programs that improve health, life skills for the whole family, and provides time for addiction recovery, job training and successful transition to the community.

Public outreach during the campaign will include tours of the motel complex, a speaker’s bureau, and opportunities to give financially or volunteer.  Watch for campaign updates on Facebook and at PathofCitrus.org. Learn more by booking a tour or a speaker by email at path.frm@gmail.com or call The Path at 352-527-6500 ext. 9.  A local 501(c)3 for over a decade, The Path is currently 100% privately-funded.

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