ORLANDO, Fla. — First Lady Casey DeSantis launched Hope Florida – A Pathway to Possibilities, an expansion of the Hope Florida Program, in cooperation with private sector partners, to assist Floridians with unique abilities in reaching their potential. Through the Pathway to Possibilities program, Floridians with unique abilities will be able to work with dedicated Hope Navigators to connect them with the resources and opportunities within their communities exterior of government that they need to thrive, such as stable jobs with large companies that have consistently supported employees with unique abilities. At the Sept. 5 event, the First Lady announced 13 companies have committed to joining Hope Florida including members of Publix Super Markets, Inc., HCA Florida Capital Hospital, Florida Goodwill Association, The Florida Panthers, Lee Health, Broward Health, Sunshine Health, Allstate Insurance, AAR Corp., Automated Health Systems, Riverside Hotel, Siemens Healthineers and KPMG.
“With the expansion of Hope Florida to serve individuals with unique abilities and their families we are working exterior of government to unite communities to create opportunities,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “In conjunction with this expansion, we are proud to announce an increase of entities committed to partnering with Hope Florida. Through the kindness of numerous businesses, we will be able to offer more Hope Florida recipients, including those with unique abilities, opportunities for employment that are tailored to their individualized needs.”
“There is no greater privilege than serving individuals with unique abilities and their families by assisting them with achieving goals, removing barriers, navigating government, and creating opportunities to build a strong network of supports within their local community,” said Taylor Hatch, Director for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. “We are incredibly thankful for the unwavering leadership of Governor DeSantis and the First Lady who deliver time and time again by prioritizing individuals with unique abilities and their families to promote empowerment, independence and maximizing community involvement for all Floridians.”
“It is an honor to be a part of the First Lady’s Hope Florida initiative,” said Florida Panthers Chief Operating Officer Bryce Hollweg. “We host events year round, whether that is a concert or a hockey game, and we are looking forward to this partnership to bring on even more hard-working employees. As an entire organization we are committed to helping provide skills and experiences, and support the livelihoods of those in our South Florida community.”
“We are grateful to First Lady Casey DeSantis for expanding the scope of the Hope Florida program to include those with unique abilities,” said Publix Director of Communications Maria Brous. “Making shopping a pleasure would not be possible without our associates and we are proud of our long-term efforts to recruit hard-working Floridians of all abilities.”
Hope Florida – A Pathway to Possibilities, led by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, will have 14 Hope Navigators available to serve as the facilitator and connector of dots for individuals with unique abilities and their families. This program will also help assist with navigating the state’s wide array of services and connect them to local-community-based providers including nonprofits, faith-based organizations, peer supports and private sector business partners.
Businesses that commit to supporting their communities through Hope Florida can do so in three tangible ways:
Provide Employment Opportunities
Sign up through CareerSource Florida: Businesses can provide Hope Florida participants with job opportunities that consider that individual’s unique needs and skills. Whether it’s offering flexible work hours or on-the-job training, employers commit to supporting the Hope Florida mission through tailored work opportunities. To sign up email: email@example.com.
Sign up through CarePortal: Businesses can establish a profile online to respond to unmet needs within their community. Through the CarePortal, a point of contact at the business will receive real-time alerts to assist Hope Florida recipients with their unique needs such as delivering a meal, bed, diapers, etc. To establish an online giving profile visit: HopeFlorida.com and click “I Want to Help.”
Donate to the Hope Florida Fund
The Hope Florida Fund harnesses the charity of the private sector to provide financial resources to deserving local nonprofit organizations. To donate please visit: floridaeducationfoundation.org/hope-florida.
For more information on how to join Hope Florida as a private sector entity, click here.
Individuals with unique abilities and their families who are in need of services can connect with Hope Florida by visiting HopeFlorida.com or calling the Hope Line (850-300-HOPE).
Hope Florida, created by First Lady DeSantis and implemented by the Florida Department of Children and Families and the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, utilizes ‘Hope Navigators’ to guide Floridians on an individualized path to prosperity and economic self-sufficiency by focusing on community collaboration between the private sector, faith-based community, non-profits, and government entities to break down traditional community silos to maximize support and uncover opportunities. These ‘Hope Navigators’ are essential in helping individuals identify their unique and immediate barriers to prosperity, develop long-term goals, map out a strategic plan, and work to ensure all sectors of the community have a ‘seat at the table’ to be a key part of the solution. In addition, the Hope Navigators help identify and organize opportunities for Floridians who wish to help their neighbors by connecting community members, including Florida seniors, with volunteer and mentorship opportunities.