This crew is led by BJ Moene, a dedicated individual who goes above and beyond in serving approximately 25 folks on a weekly basis and more often as necessary. He brings with him hope, inspiration, and encouragement.
Just before Christmas, in Dec 2015, my youngest son posed a simple question to my husband after seeing two school aged girls enter the woods near a busy shopping center and learning they were "going home" - "So what are you going to do about that?" was his question. He didn't realize, as many of us didn't realize, homeless people were trying to survive in wooded areas all throughout our county. I know I had no idea as to the degree and magnitude of this issue right here in our little hamlet.
In less than two weeks time, our first initiative of bringing aid to these people transpired. It happened with a great outpouring of support from people both in our community and far away. Tent City Helpers came into being Dec 20th, 2015 as carloads (completely stuffed to their roofs with supplies) and LOTS of helpful hands joined together to go into the woods.
Tent City Helpers became incorporated as a not-for-profit business June 30, 2016, and we obtained our federal nonprofit status Aug 24, 2016.
We are a group of fellow concerned citizens in Martin County, FL - now over 1000 members strong in just over a year. Our mission is to shine a light on the homeless population in our area, assist in meeting the homeless' immediate needs and work towards organizing appropriate housing for the homeless men, families, and women in our local area.
Tent City Helpers
Getting to the Heart of Homelessness
Husband and wife teams: Tony and Stacey Solomon (left) founders of TCH and Tiffany and Rich Bolton (right) lead Team Propane in Stuart. Stacey serves as the chairperson for TCH and Rich the co-chairman.
Marianne has been with Tent City Helpers from the very beginning. She now serves on our board of directors as Treasurer.
There are absolutely NO emergency shelters for men, families or women in Martin County, FL. Despite being rated as the wealthiest county in the state of Florida according to recent (July 2016) estimates, Martin County has not any emergency housing provisions for our residents finding themselves newly homeless.
Unless you happen to be a homeless woman who happens to be pregnant, with child(ren) and/or a victim of domestic violence there presently is nowhere for you to find shelter (other than a tent that is) within our county. This has to change.
According to the most recent statistics low-income working adults and fixed income seniors are finding it difficult to stay above the poverty line. Thousands of residents in our community struggle to afford even basic necessities. One of the most difficult hurdles is housing.
Tent City Helpers' Teen Ambassador, Erica Renzulli is our organization's link between the local population in need of homes and student, youth volunteers from across our area.