A real Place of Hope transitional housing opens

That construction site on Boca Rio Road has finally come together. Place of Hope cut the ribbon on the first of four buildings to house young people who need the next step.

The affordable, furnished apartments are meant for kids who age out of foster care at 18, single moms and human trafficking survivors. Each building will have eight units on the expanded Place of Hope Leighan and David Rinker campus.

The community, donors and invited guests attended the completion of the Gary Peters Family Transitional Housing Complex building.

As lead donor, Peters contributed $500,000 toward the new building. As board chairman of Boca Helping Hands, he will partner with Place of Hope founder and CEO Charles L. Bender III to provide vocational training. The potential residents “are most at risk of falling through the cracks,” he said.

“It’s the same population we serve in our houses,” said about other housing on the campus. The new apartment residents will be young people “who demonstrated they’re ready for the next level of independence,” said Lisa McDulin, director of advancement. That can be anything from school success to saving money. “We want to get them ready to be on their own,” she said.

Here’s the agency wish list on Amazon, and campus tours are available, she added. https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/3BZFUH5YUPMIF?ref_=wl_share

Among the other major donors are Jay and Sharon DiPietro, Jim and Marta Batmasian, Arthur Adler and the Boca West Children’s Foundation and GL Homes. The Rinker, Stoops, Coulombe, Asofsky and Woerner families and foundations also contributed.

By Marci Shatzman

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