Nature Coast Community Services Foundation fills an existing — and largely unfilled — need in this largely rural area. Hernando County, with a current population of 186,553, apparently has a homeless population estimated at 7500. Of the 21,800 children in Hernando’s public schools, 3500 or 16% are homeless. These are the people whom NCCSF serves.
The Nature Coast Community Services Foundation seeks to serve this constituency by providing life supporting food, clothing, shoes, transportation, OTC medicines, counselling, and guidance not to keep the homeless in their current situation, but to help them lift themselves out of their poverty and back into being productive members of society once more.
The NCCSF is guided by the key value that every human being matters. This value generates our three core values: recognizing that homeless people are assets; that our work and the interaction we have with them is rooted in compassion; that we see homeless people as fellow teachers who offer to us both life experiences and an exceptional ability in caring.
NCCSF provides food, clothing, bedding, transportation, and medical care to the homeless community of Florida’s Nature Coast as we simultaneously help them earn their GED (high school equivalency degree), replace lost identification, take them to doctors and job appointments, and find them appropriate jobs and housing.
We work to get people with severe mental or physical problems on disability. We work with the VA to find homeless veterans permanent housing.
But no matter whom we serve, our goal is to return them to being productive members of society again.
We dream of the day we will have an office and a storage area so we can merge all our operations and services under one roof. The storage area would help us organize the clothing, shoes, food, bedding, and toiletries that our work demands, and could be the mission-specific staging area we lack today. The administrative office and community center space would allow us to build on our current service base and expand those services to benefit a greater swath of the general public.