Today, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity has now provided family-centered assistance to more than 25,000 Floridians to help them achieve economic sufficiency.
The program, spearheaded by First Lady DeSantis and operated by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), utilizes Care Navigators to assist Floridians in need by identifying goals and removing barriers to economic self-sufficiency through local, community-based partners, including the private sector, faith-based institutions, and nonprofit organizations.
“I am delighted to hit this milestone. The Governor and I know that Florida’s communities are full of organizations and businesses that want to lift up their neighbors in need, and this program has given them the outlet to do so,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “I’ve had the privilege of meeting some of the families impacted by the program, and I am so proud of the work our state is doing to help them find resiliency and hope.”
Individuals and families can use the service to resolve immediate, dire needs, like housing and food assistance, or to work on long-term goals, like stable employment and education. The initiative also assists exiting and former foster youth to be connected to resources in their local area to support their independence. To opt in, individuals can call 850-300-HOPE or may be referred by social service providers.
“Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity empowers Floridians with opportunities that support and strengthen resiliency and well-being. We know that if families have robust supports on the front end, they often won’t end up in crisis situations later,” said Department of Children and Families’ Secretary Shevaun Harris. “The initiative blends support from multiple sources to ensure we are serving families holistically.”
The program began as a DCF pilot project in August of 2020 to help public benefit recipients locate employment, housing, and childcare resources on their road to economic self-sufficiency. In 2021, under First Lady DeSantis’ leadership, the initiative was expanded to additional populations and re-launched as Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity with added emphasis on recruiting private sector and faith-based partners to support more families throughout the state.
If you or your organization would like to get involved and help, visit HopeFlorida.com.