Published On: Fri, Jul 14th, 2017

Place of Hope Expansion to Bring Affordable Housing

By: Michael Demyan

Place of Hope’s Rinker Campus on Boca Rio Road.

Faith-based foster care organization Place of Hope is set to expand their housing as six acres of land is being cleared on Boca Rio Road.

Those six acres of land will partly be used to house teenagers in their foster care program once they reach 18 years of age. Once a child turns 18 and leaves foster care, they are suddenly on their own. With the construction of the building it will allow those teens to continue to have a place they can call home.

The building will also be used for others in need of a home, such as homeless families with children and victims of human trafficking. Founding CEO of Place of Hope Charles Bender III said that they are striving to develop true affordable housing.

“Where is there affordable housing for those folks that are trying to get to the next level in life professionally and with their families? There isn’t any,” Bender said. “So that’s what we’re building. That’s why it’s so important.”

The land sits north of Place of Hope’s Leighan and David Rinker Campus, which was donated to the organization in 2013 by The Haven. The new name for the campus was chosen two years later after board member Dr. Leighan Rinker and her husband David.

Place of Hope also acquired the empty acres of land that same year and now the organization will finally be able to build the necessary housing for those who need it.

The project is expected to cost $1.3 million and Boca Helping Hands president Gary Peters donated a lead gift of $500,000 to Place of Hope through the Gary Peters Family Foundation. Now the goal is to find additional donors for the two-story building with eight two-bedroom units.

“We don’t like to operate with organizational debt, so we like to get everything paid for or at least committed prior to construction,” Bender said.

To reach the $1.3 million cost, they are currently looking for seven more sponsors to donate $100,000 for one unit. Arthur Remillard, a longtime supporter of Boca Helping Hands, was the first to do so.

Currently, construction is in early stages as the land is being cleared and work has begun on storm drainage, water and sewer systems.

After the first building is constructed, plans do not stop there as Place of Hope wishes to build three more on the land.

“Once we have all the commitments on this first building and we’re able to then start with surety that it’s going to get built without any issues or shortfalls, then I think we can start to focus on the next one,” Bender said.

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