Ascension parishioners bring hope to the homeless through Alive in Christ

hope for the homelessThrough their gifts to Alive in Christ, parishioners are helping to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness that affects the lives of more than 70,000 homeless children in Florida alone.

As part of the Alive in Christ Campaign, Ascension parishioners chose to dedicate a portion of their parish proceeds to the Space Coast Center for Mothers with Children, a Brevard-County residential facility that helps homeless single mothers and their children as they transition to self-sufficiency.

"Since outreach to the poor and needy is such a big part of our parish life, we wanted to help," explained Fr. Tobin, pastor of Ascension Catholic Church in Melbourne.

In addition to comfortable living spaces, residents have access to spiritual guidance, health care, vocational training, and employment assistance. Mothers frequently take part in classes ranging from parenting skills to financial planning, and children benefit from on-site counseling and tutoring.

"The mothers are acquiring the necessary skills to function on their own and building a strong foundation for their children to prosper as adults. They work extraordinarily hard on a daily basis to change their lives and the lives of their children," noted Lila Buescher, President and CEO of the Space Center for Mothers with Children.

Although not affiliated with any particular denomination, the center is committed to maintaining a Christ-centered environment where faith is paramount in the healing process.

"Mothers attend Brevard Community College, attend regular Sunday church services, and are becoming the positive role models their children need," said Buescher. "Most importantly they are healing, have hope, and are renewing their faith in God."

The Center's vision is to be a supportive community where a mother and child who are experiencing crisis will thrive and have the opportunity to rebuild their lives and ultimately achieve independence.

It is a vision that is yielding fruit in the lives of many families.

"When I think of the Space Coast Center, I think of home, because it's been the most stable home that we've had in years. I am now attending college and doing better than I could have ever imagined," shared one resident. "The Space Coast Center has shown me the potential that I have to make great things happen in my life.

To date, the parish has contributed more than $15,000 from their Alive in Christ funds to the Space Coast Center.

"The opportunity provided to these families absolutely would not be possible without the support we receive from our faith partners. Father Tobin and Ascension parishioners have been instrumental in raising awareness and advocating for homeless mothers and children in our community," noted Buescher.


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