A Breath of Fresh Air: Mom of 5 finds hope at SabalPlace

Last year was rough for hardworking single mom Brianna. Putting in overtime to provide for her five children proved to be challenging. “I was still struggling to make ends meet. Paying rent, electricity, car note, car insurance—that basically took up my whole paycheck,” said Brianna. “I worked a lot of overtime and barely had time for my kids.”

Then came another crushing blow. Brianna lost her job in the middle of COVID-19. With no way to pay rent, she and her kids moved in with friends, then to hotels. Stressed out about how she would provide for her children, she tried to look for work. 

“There were interviews but no callbacks. I looked for months and even took a temporary job for a short time. I kept looking for a job and really needed somewhere to live,” said Brianna. “I was so worried about my kids and being able to take care of them.”

Soon after, Brianna secured a part-time job that allowed her to work from remote. That small blessing gave her the encouragement she desperately needed. Thankful for the support of her family, Brianna began to set goals. The biggest one was securing her an apartment. Still, with increasing rental costs and the ongoing affordable housing crisis, she wondered how she would meet her goal of moving into her own apartment. 

That’s when she learned about Metropolitan Ministries and our new affordable housing community, SabalPlace. 

According to a 2019 report released by the Florida Housing Coalition nearly 2 million of Florida’s lower income households were housing instable. They also shared that there has been a shortage of more than 344,000 affordable homes for lower-income Floridians.

With the help of Blue Sky Communities, the SabalPlace community began.

Located in Seffner, FL., newly constructed SabalPlace, features 112 garden-style units for formerly homeless and at-risk families affected by the affordable housing crisis. In addition to amenities like a playground, splash pad, and community room, SabalPlace also features on-site wraparound care comprised of a team of skilled case managers. 

Knowing this was the right choice, Brianna reached out for help. 

“It felt like a weight off my shoulders when I got a call back from Metro. My case manager sounded like she really wanted to help. She asked about my family and me, the troubles I faced, and what I needed assistance with.”

Brianna and her case manager met weekly to discuss things from parenting support classes, tools for self-care, and budgeting. Finally, she was getting the support she needed. 

“My case manager helped me so much. She wasn’t just a person doing her job, she truly made me feel like she cared, and I loved that.” 

With the support of Metro, Brianna was able to enroll to get her GED. She also was promoted to full-time hours. With all the successes and progress she made, Brianna had one more goal in mind – securing her own apartment at SabalPlace. 

“My case manager helped me apply at SabalPlace. I immediately knew this is where I wanted to live,” said Brianna. “This apartment would be my new start, my new beginning.”

Living in a hotel room with her five children, homeschooling each of them during COVID-19, and working nights was tough, but she stayed encouraged with the support of her team at Metro. 

“I knew SabalPlace would be a perfect fit for me and my kids. I had been so anxious,” she shared. “I worked extremely hard and pushed myself. I knew my goal, and I was not going to stop until I got there.”

Finally, the moment arrived, and Brianna signed her lease and moved into her brand-new apartment at SabalPlace. With her case manager’s help, she was able to pick out a few pieces of furniture and small items to help her family make their house a home. 

 Because of your support, moms like Brianna are finding hope and refuge again after challenging times. Thanks to you, we can offer affordable housing and help build strong, caring communities.

Looking back over her journey, Brianna shares what your support means to her and her kids. 

“This is a breath of fresh air. It is such a blessing to be one of many families whose lives are about to change. You really are out to help the community.” 

 Many families in our care come to us without essential household items. Help Inspire Hope now by gifting an item from our Amazon Wishlist. These home essentials like flatware, bedding, and cookware help families make their new house a home. Thank you for helping to transform the lives of moms like Brianna. Your support makes a lifelong impact for families transitioning out of homelessness.