Brevard Rescue Mission
In 2006, Stacia Glavas and her husband noticed a woman near their home in Cocoa Village. Walking down Rockledge Drive with her 18-month-old, the woman, Julia, suffered an asthma attack and collapsed in front of the Glavas’ home. The couple rushed to assist her and discovered she only lived a few blocks away. Despite the short distance, Julia’s living environment was a stark contrast from the one Stacia knew, as Julia’s apartment was dilapidated and contained black mold.
Stacia helped Julia with her nebulizer treatment at her home that day, and that seemed to be the end of her good deed. However, the next day, Julia left a note on Stacia’s door that read, “I hope that God will bless you for your good deeds. And how I want to thank your helping hands in my time of need. God has given you open eyes to help the world to see that compassion and empathy are the actions that have bonded you to me. Thank You. Love Julia, Amelia and Hannah.”
Over the next two years, Stacia and her husband developed a friendship with Julia, and with the help of others in the community, she established a financial foundation, earned her cosmetology license and moved into a new apartment. A car was also donated to Julia’s family and is now being driven by her 17-year-old daughter. Through getting to know Julia and her story, the Glavas family wanted to help others in the area.
Thus, the Brevard Rescue Mission was created in 2008 with Stacia Glavas as founder and CEO.
Breaking The Cycle
Utilizing a 12-24 month program, the organization’s goal is to break the cycle of homelessness in women and families. This is done through crisis intervention, which can include immediate housing at Casa Carol, a 12-unit apartment complex. Adults work with staff on permanent ways to become financially stable and children work on an academic plan to keep up in school. By working with the community, BRM is able to expose individuals in the program to new skill sets.
“There are a lot of people committed to the cause, and the most gratifying thing is that the work will go on beyond me.”
– Stacia Glavas
“We’re working with the business community to get some of our residents into the new Certified Production Technician program fueled by the EDC; we have a huge need for it, but not a lot of people are certified,” Glavas said. “We try to collaborate with organizations already doing things in the community rather than reinvent the wheel. We work with CareerSource, and Zonta Club has provided various scholarships as well.”
BRM also works with volunteers to provide parenting training and has reoccurring assessments on subjects such as money management skills, transportation, parenting skills and more. The organization has enjoyed great success through these initiatives, as it has a 91 percent success rate. Glavas also said she has seen 20 to 70 percent increases on the assessments.
The Power of Community
In 10 years, the organization’s reach, support and demand have grown exponentially, all without the help of government funding. Recently the organization received a $100,000 scholarship donation over the next four years for the mission’s residents, graduates and their children. The organization’s premier event, the Women Who Care Share Luncheon, will take place on April 20 and will have new sponsorship from Eau Gallie Electric, among others.
The woman-based organization has also found a way to involve men in events, with the Muscle Cars for a Mission event held last October. BRM will also open The Treehouse, a new 16-bed facility for women and children this year in collaboration with First Baptist Church of Melbourne.
While approximately 100 families have enrolled in the program since its inception, the organization has had to turn away more than 100 families a year who would have qualified for the program due to space issues. BRM now has a five-to-10-year plan to serve 100 families, and while that is nearly nine to 10 times the amount of the families it serves now, a concerted effort to reach that aspiration is in place. Over the next six months, the organization will hold focus groups among businesspeople, community leaders and program graduates to analyze the proper space and locations to serve such a large number.
In the same way that Glavas and her husband helped Julia on that day in 2006 and in the following years, the ability to help others become self-sufficient, while also ensuring the organization is sustainable, is important to her.
“It’s a powerful testament to community,” Glavas said. “If I have a gift, I think it would be connecting people to resources and other people who can help, and it has made me less critical to the organization. I wanted Brevard Rescue Mission to be sustainable. There are a lot of people committed to the cause, and the most gratifying thing is that the work will go on beyond me.”
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