As we pulled up in our car and unloaded the tent we had just purchased for our friends, this young woman turned, looked me in the eye and whispered, “Thank you.”
I didn’t think much of it at the time, but just recently the Lord reminded me of that peaceful look I saw on her face, and thought: This may have been the first time in a long time that she was going to sleep comfortably without fear or worry of someone taking advantage of her.
What many do not understand is that most of these homeless women (approximately 200 in the Daytona Beach area) have succumbed to prostitution in order to survive. Why? Statistics say that 60% of all homeless have been in the foster care system at one time or another. And many of the girls who age out of the FCS at the age of 18 are instantly homeless and have nowhere to go. When that happens, local pimps find out who they are, friend them, give them a place to live and food in their bellies, and in return lead them to do drugs and drink alcohol, and from there are forced into prostitution.
That is why I and my family are thankful to have Legacy House (legacyhousingproject.com) where we provide housing for girls aging out of the foster care system in efforts to prevent youth homelessness, drug addiction and prostitution. A safe home where they are able to continue with their education by enrolling in college and gain employment.
But what about those who never had a Legacy House? What about the homeless women who never had someone love and care for them the way God intended?
During the Summer of 2018, my husband and I were driving down A1A and as I looked out the window, I saw a homeless woman sleeping in the parking lot of a local gift shop, clothes covered in dirt and bare feet. When I saw it, I immediately said, “That’s it!” I knew then it was time to move out of the talking stage, and do something about it! It was time to provide housing for the homeless women in our community!
In 2015 studies estimated there are 565,000 homeless in the USA on any given night – 40% are Women.
Over 1 Million people experience homelessness each year.
Statistics say Domestic and Sexual Violence is the Leading Cause of Homelessness among Women and Families, and 20-50% of all Homeless Women and Children become Homeless as a direct result if fleeing domestic violence. (From the article: Health Care for Homeless Women – The National Center on Family Homelessness and National Coalition for the Homeless.)
Since 2014 Ponce Church has served over 20,000 meals to the Homeless at 320 North Street every Saturday in Daytona Beach. During one of their North Street events a woman who was fleeing a domestic violence situation – came to North Street during one of our Saturday distribution of meals with no shoes and only the clothes on her back. Because of the generous gifts of others they were able to provide her with a pair of shoes and clothing that she needed.
Another woman came to Pastor Nina just the other week, took her hand and began to cry as she shared how she had been sexually assaulted the week prior. The woman told her she wants off the streets. Pastor Nina then assured her that preparations were being made to launch Ponce Village – Homeless Women Housing, and informed her that she would keep her informed of its progress.
Because of Ponce Village we will be able to purchase property, build 11 Duplexes and house 44 women.
Join is in bringing an end to homelessness among the women of our community. For more information and updates, Like our Page: Ponce Village Homeless Women Housing.
Thank you for supporting Ponce Village and Help Provide Hope for Homeless Women in the Daytona Beach area and surrounding cities.
GIVE NOW – All Donations are Tax Deductible. Thank you.
Nina Tidwell is Founder and Pastor of Ponce Church along with her husband Pastor Rick Tidwell. She is also the Visionary of the Legacy Housing Project and is the Author of her New Book: LOVE AWAKENS – Purchase your Kindle or Paperback copy today!