NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — Kahleel Caldwell was going through a rough time. Family troubles left him homeless and couch surfing. But with a baby on the way, he and his girlfriend knew they needed help.
“People can’t lose faith or hope cause once you start losing that, that’s when things start going downhill,” said Caldwell.
Kahleel’s faith led him to the Pasco Family shelter in New Port Richey. The county and Catholic Charities opened it just six months ago to give emergency shelter to families in need.
Baby Marcellus might have otherwise ended up in foster care.
“I don’t know where I’d be if they didn’t take us in,” said Caldwell.
Many people are now left homeless because of a dramatic rise in rent. The goal of this shelter is to be a temporary place for families until they can find somewhere more permanent.
“Now one-bedrooms can be as much as $1,600. Finding larger units for larger households is also very difficult. So we are doing a lot of work unfortunately, with some of our bigger families having to take smaller units. But understanding that’s just one step on their future plans to get into the home of their dreams,” said Danielle Husband with Catholic Charities.
Catholic Charities says it works with what they call second chance landlords, to help these families who might not have the best credit.
Kahleel and his family are already feeling better about their future. He and his girlfriend both have jobs and expect to be moving into a home soon.
“Even in your darkest moments, there’s always opportunities. People just don’t take the time out to do it or to think about it or take the patterns to move towards a better life,” said Caldwell.
To help with Catholic Charities or if you need help, you can text pascoshelter to 91999 or dial 211.