Hope Florida partners with private sector businesses to help families in need

by mcardinal

Curt Flewelling, FISM News

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The First Lady of the Sunshine State, Casey DeSantis, announced Tuesday that her Hope Florida initiative will now be expanding to include partnerships with private sector entities.

The program is implemented by the Florida Department of Children and Families (FDCF).

The Hope Florida website describes the program as one that utilizes ‘Hope Navigators’ to guide Floridians on an individualized path to prosperity, economic self-sufficiency, and hope by focusing on community collaboration between the private sector, faith-based community, nonprofits, and government.

A Hope Navigator functions as a single point person to steer needy Floridians in the right direction to access the help they require. This approach obviates the need to deal with numerous government agents and streamlines the process of getting assistance.

In the beginning stages of the program, the First Lady was routinely asked, “Why doesn’t  Florida spend as much on welfare programs as other states?” Determined to develop a different approach to assist those in need, she set out to debunk the myth that more money means more compassion or better outcomes.

In what sounded like verbiage out of her husband’s political playbook, DeSantis told the Daily Wire, “A lot of times, it’s just throwing money at these programs where you see a lot of bureaucracy and bloat and middle managers.”

Historically, faith-based organizations have always been on the front lines when it came to helping the unfortunate in this country. As a result, many red state officials have implemented government programs that incorporate these entities.

However, Florida has become the first state to also expand their care portal to private sector corporations. By doing this, impoverished Floridians can now more easily receive tangible goods, financial assistance, transportation, and even job training from those agencies with the resources to help. DeSantis feels that this multi-pronged approach is the best way to benefit individuals, with the lowest cost to the taxpayer.

At a press conference to announce the expansion of the program to the business community, Casey DeSantis said, “After witnessing the tremendous difference that faith-based communities make to uplift those in need, I am excited to broaden Hope Florida’s impact by incorporating the generosity and goodwill of private sector corporations.”

The list of major corporations willing to partner with Hope Florida is rapidly growing. Walgreens, AT&T, AmeriHealth Caritas, Kroger Deliveries, Home Depot, and CVS Health, have all pledged their support in numerous ways.

Since its inception in September of 2021, Hope Florida has reported that 43% of the program’s participants have been able to reduce or entirely eliminate their reliance on Temporary Assistance for Needy  Families (TANF) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Breaking this dependency has resulted in $11 million worth of savings to Florida taxpayers.