It began with a conversation.
In late 2018, Brad met for lunch with Pastor AJ Hardin and James Arnold from Living Word of Faith Outreach Center to discuss the problem of homelessness among college students in Polk County. These students were trying to pursue higher education, but several of the men were unable to find affordable housing. Many were living in their cars, on benches, or on friend’s couches, since area shelters do not offer options for men.
Hardin and Arnold offered their church’s parsonage, and our first Scholarship House, “The Manse,” came to life! The home has four bedrooms, including one for the house manager, and can accommodate up to eight students.
Community is the method.
For some men, just having a safe, stable environment to study is all they need to move ahead with their education, and ultimately their lives. The Scholarship House is not the traditional transition house, but a place for adult men who are actively seeking to complete their education and have been forced to make difficult decisions as a result of housing issues. Additionally, we provide career and life coaching, financial literacy, and most importantly- we emphasize community. The Scholarship House is not a facility. We are a family.
The fruit of this effort has already been proven. Men from “The Manse” have gone on to university to pursue bachelor’s degrees, acquire vocational training in various fields, and more! Heart for Winter Haven has long term plans to launch a women’s house in the future as well.
For more information about the Scholarship House project, including how to refer a client for the current men’s house at The Manse, contact Brian Flores (House Manager) at email@example.com.
You can also experience the journey of the home's creation HERE.
Want to help?
To donate towards the Scholarship House, please visit www.heart4wh.org/donate, or send a gift via mail to:
Heart for Winter Haven; Attn: Scholarship House
P.O. Box 2383; Winter Haven, FL 33883