ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A local group that helps single mothers and their children avoid homelessness is a step closer to breaking ground on a new campus.
The new Alpha-Omega Miracle Home campus in St. Augustine would house up to 130 people.
It just received $3.5 million as part of the new state budget. A new estimate shows it could take $14 million to complete, which is $4 million more than originally expected.
Teyona Rodgers loves being a mother to her 7-week-old daughter and 1-year-old son.
She has lived at the Alpha-Omega Miracle Home since November 2021 after being homeless for two months.
“I was living in my car with my two kids,” Rodgers said. “I was actually still in school, but I was doing school online on my phone.”
Rodgers is studying health care administration with hopes of one day operating a hospital.
Rodgers said the opportunity to be a part of the Alpha-Omega Miracle Home program has been life-changing.
CEO and founder Lisa Franklin hopes that will be the case for more when the new campus opens.
“[The women] really find themselves in a place where they would never accomplish the goals that they had,” Franklin said of the many others when they first start the program.
The new campus will include a day care, community care center, 20 two-bedroom apartments, 12 efficiency apartments and a six-bedroom dorm for emergency housing.
Franklin and Rodgers believe this will create more opportunities for outreach and resources.
“I am happy I was able to be pregnant and have a roof over my head instead of wondering like, ‘OK, where are we going to go now?’” Rodgers said.
“These young ladies really have dreams as children,” Franklin said. “Then reality sets in when they find themselves with a child and all of their dreams start falling. We are just a lot of encouragement to them and letting them know you can still do this.”
Franklin said she hopes the charity can break ground on the new campus either in September or October.
On top of the $3.5 million from the state, the group has also raised $1 million toward its goal.
If all goes as planned, the project will be complete in three to four years.