TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed off on a $109.9 billion state budget Thursday, which included Connecting Everyone with Second Chances (CESC) for $1.5 million.
CESC is a nonprofit organization that provides a path to self-sufficiency for those in poverty through projects such as The Kearney Center and CESC Health Services.
The $1.5 million in state funding will support CESC’s comprehensive programs and services that help those experiencing homelessness in the Big Bend region.
“This is a significant win for CESC and the community. We want to see people helped and permanently housed to become self-sufficient and enhance their quality of life,” says Samantha Vance, CESC’s Chief Executive Officer. “This quarter alone we housed 41 individuals and diverted 207 from homelessness. We’re excited to have this funding to bring about greater results.”
The appropriations bill was sponsored by Representative Jason Shoaf and Senator Aaron Bean.
Lobbyist Nicole Graganella Kelly with The Southern Group represented CESC during Session.
Over the past couple of years, COVID-19 and increased housing costs have made those in poverty more susceptible to homelessness.
CESC received $716,000 in state funding years prior but new leadership pushed for more funding from the state to carry out new programs and tackle challenges that have made homelessness a major community issue.
Rick Kearney, CESC Founder and Board President, shared, “Homelessness is a convoluted issue in our community. It’s wonderful to see an increase in support for our organization and the clients we serve.”