SOFI Chronicle | July 2021
We've made an IMPACT!
Family Success Story
Linda and her family are an excellent example of what dedication and determination do for those struggling with poverty.

Linda says,

I did everything, legal of course to make extra money: I donated plasma, I would go in to the ETC section of the jobs in craigslist, I would do focus group, mock juries, I did a commercial for face cream that aired on QVC, I racked up my credit card and took out a loan both with very high interest rates. We literally didn't have food, so I would go to the food pantry just so they could eat. I didn't care about myself. I had to find a job that would allow me to be home when most of the time when my kids were home. In 2019 my daughter showed me a job opening for a food service manager for the Palm Beach School District. January 1 2020 I was hired as a manager intern, right up my alley. I have worked in food service since I was 18. I got the job and then COVID happened. I know this is terrible to say because many people lost their jobs but I was an essential worker and worked every single day, I was receiving double pay and bonuses. April of 2020 I was able to pay off the $3,000 loan and $2,300 credit card bill. I bought my daughter a car with cash so she didn't have to keep using mine and could go to work and school. I was able to buy new beds, things that we never had before, everything was always October of 2020 I was back to a regular pay check and had received a raise. I started putting money away, I was so proud when I had a thousand dollars in my savings account, it could have been a million dollars to me. In November 2020 I became a manager at a school, I was not an intern anymore. I now have a $10,000 line of credit and I have raised my credit score well over a hundred points. I have $15,500.00 saved for a house and money in my checking account. Bank of America just gave me preferred banking for having over $20,000 in the bank for more than three months. I have received a $7,000.00 yearly increase in less than 9 months of working there. I have a very low car payment and basic bills. I will not touch that money, I have to make sure that my oldest daughter will have a home always when I am gone. One day I will write a book after I buy my house as this is a very small portion of my life details. I am sending pictures of my most proudest moment ever, Christmas 2020. I bought a live tree, and every single present under that tree by myself, no help from anyone, not cheap things to be able to let them have something. I used to cry every single Christmas because I always felt so bad, this year I cried because of what I have accomplished. I have not yet reached my goal. If I didn't have a section 8 voucher, I would have been homeless and would have to send my kids to live with my sister, food stamps. were minimal but it did help.
I lost a lot of benefits including food stamps, and my portion of rent is half a month of my salary of because of my income, making you more dependent on the system. I want to be one the people who can break that cycle. I am very scared of losing my voucher because of my savings though until I can buy a house.
What is the hardest thing to say to your children? I am sorry, we cannot afford it....

**If you have a family success story that you want highlighted in our newsletter, send them to Jodie Boisvert. Please have the family sign this consent form. **

Congratulations to our Essay Contest winner, Carly!
Carly Hayle, is 16 years old and is a junior at Inlet Grove Community High School in Riviera Beach. She is in her school’s medical program, and currently working on her EKG certification. Following high school Carly wants to be a developmental pediatrician and aims to specialize in behavioral studies with a concentration on autism spectrum disorders. She also serves as the research intern for Inlet Grove's Mindfulness Club. Carly volunteers in the mindfulness club's garden with other high school students on a regular basis. She spends her free time watching new shows, and studying different languages.

Carly will be working with Robbriania and Lisa to build additional after school clubs in communities of low-income to inspire youth, build creative thinking skills, and promote breaking the cycle of poverty.
Agency Spotlight
 Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, a special-purpose government created by county voters in 1986, sees itself as an advocate for change that can only be accomplished through collaboration and partnership. 
Many of the nearly 60 programs we fund in the community address individual families’ current needs: Prenatal supports, child development, early care and education, mental wellness and more. But to address root causes of community struggles – and bring about lasting change – we work with national, state, local and community leaders through Collective Impact Initiatives. These special projects provide the innovation, creativity and flexibility needed to address generational and systemic issues that challenge Palm Beach County families. Such initiatives include Achieve PBC, Birth to 22: United for Brighter Futures, BeWellPBC, Community Alliance/Child Abuse Prevention, Hunger Relief, Literacy and the Special Needs Advisory Coalition.
As a Securing Our Future partner, we co-chair the Racial Wealth Gap Simulation committee, provide child care scholarships to participating families and connect families in our programs to SOFI.
We also help PBC families find their footing in a variety of ways. For example, expectant families can receive support through the Nurse-Family Partnership program, WHIN, Community Voice, Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies of PBC and Healthy Beginnings Nurses, to name a few. Families concerned about their child’s growth and development can participate in free developmental assessments through HomeSafe, or other development-focused programs such as Help Me Grow, First Step to Success, Early Steps and ParentChild+. Families grappling with mental health or other challenges may receive help from one of our numerous counseling-related services, or Child First and Project Dulce. Then there are the programs for older children and teens – such as Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program (TOP) and Triple P (The Positive Parenting Program). We support summer camp and afterschool scholarships as well, so children can thrive while their parents work or attend school.
No matter what we do in Palm Beach County, we always have one goal in mind: Ensure all of our children have the opportunity to grow up healthy, safe and strong.
For more information about Children’s Services Council, visit And for parent-specific tips, advice and connections to local resources, visit sign up for the EveryParent app.
Funding Opportunity
Lost Tree Foundation is looking to fund Capital Projects that positively impact the lives of underserved families from Delray Beach to Hobe Sound.

Funding is approved for projects that influence:
  • Education
  • Health
  • Homeless
  • Hunger

Funding requests range from $5,000 to $100,000.

The deadline to submit an LOI is August 15th.

Policy Spotlight
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework will have immense positive benefits to our families.

The Bill will:
  • Improve transportation
  • Create clean water in communities of low-income by eliminating lead pipes
  • Connect all Americans to high-speed internet
  • Create millions of well-paid union jobs to build the proposed infrastructure

While the creation of the bill has bipartisan support, it will likely be modified during the House and Senate debates that are occurring.

To learn more about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, click here.
Employment Opportunities
  1. Bi-Lingual (Spanish) Food and Nutrition Program Assistant | West Palm Beach |HS Diploma or Equivalent + 12 months of experience | $18/hour
  2. Correctional Officer | South Bay | HS Diploma or Equivalent | $16.90/hour
  3. School Crossing Guard | West Palm Beach | No minimum education | $15.47/hour
  4. Engineer | Palm Beach Gardens | No minimum education | $14/hour

For more jobs, click here.
Upcoming Events
  1. Book Club: Broke in America | July 13 6pm | Register here
  2. SOFI Workgroup Meeting: July 22
  3. ROMA Training: August 10-11
  4. Poverty Awareness Week: October 18-22