H.O.M.E.S., Inc., an organization that provides former foster and relative care youth with low-cost housing and other supportive services, recently opened a thrift store. Funky Flamingo 2nds specializes in quality, gently-used home furnishings. In addition to helping generate entrepreneurial revenue for the nonprofit, the brightly colored storefront also serves as a model for economic community development and provides essential job training for young adults residing in the housing program.
T.M., a young man who lives at H.O.M.E.S., just received his GED. To gain work experience and cover his rental obligations, he began interning part-time at the store. T.M. picks up donations, inventories and restocks shelves, and cleans and refinishes donated furniture.
Nearly all of the H.O.M.E.S youth (some with children of their own) were at-risk or already homeless after "aging-out" of Florida's system of care. Through opportunities like this one, T.M. and other young adults are gaining employment skills necessary to live successfully on their own.