When Antonio came to Palmetto Place, he was alone on the streets and didn’t know he had options. He’s the oldest in his family and would often be the victim of his father’s rage when protecting his younger siblings. One night, during a fight with his father, Antonio was told to leave and not to come back. The streets are no place for a teen, but at no fault of his own, that’s where he found himself.

The next day the staff at his school helped him find shelter at Palmetto Place. For him, a safe place to sleep, guaranteed meals, and support was all he ever wanted. Through our life skills trainings, we’ve helped him reach his goals for education and employment. Today, Antonio is one of the 10 seniors at Palmetto Place getting ready for graduation and is planning on attending college in the fall. He’s been saving his paychecks and plans to buy a car after graduation so he can get himself to work and class on his own schedule.


At 16, Darius spent his days taking care of his mentally ill mother. He’d wake up in the morning and make her breakfast before getting himself ready for school. Some mornings were easier than others, but without a car he couldn’t always get to school on time. He worked extra hard to have good grades because he knew an education was the path to a better life. After school and on weekends he worked a part-time job to help support his family. But when his mother’s disease got worse and she started to have violent fits, Darius wasn’t safe. On a particularly bad day he came to Palmetto Place. For the first time in months he feels safe and knows that his needs come first. Now, he gets to school on time, and is considering options for college. We’ll help him sign up for drivers training and he can save his money to buy a first car

Grace Bennett

At a young age Sarah was separated from her biological family and adopted by a family with four children of their own. What should have been her happy ending was shattered when her stepfather got violent. In a desperate attempt to feel connected to someone she found a biological sibling, but her family refused to let her have any sort of relationship with them. Over time the abuse and violence in her house got worse and when her adoptive siblings went to live with grandma, she came to Palmetto Place. For what may be the first time in her life Sarah feels safe and loved, she knows that she’s important and that her life matters. We’re helping her reconnect with her siblings and through counseling, the wounds of her trauma began to heal.

Grace Bennett

When Michelle was 5 years old she witnessed her mother’s drug addiction and her father’s abuse. She’s experienced the suffering of having both parents in jail, the loss of a grandparent and the disappointment of being separated from those she’d grown close to. She found a safe haven at Palmetto Place.


Marcus is 17 years old, barely keeping up in his junior year of high school, and worries about where he’s going to sleep tonight. He knows if he goes home he’ll have to face his abusive mother. If he goes to his aunt’s house she’ll make him pay to sleep on the couch for the night. And if he goes to his friends they’ll likely get him in trouble. Marcus has nowhere to go, and no one to turn to for help.

Marcus is just like many of the residents at Palmetto Place who faced homelessness, abandonment, or abuse. Here he’ll not only get a warm bed and nutritious meal, he’ll get the support he needs to catch up in school and graduate. We help teens just like Marcus get a drivers license, a first job, and even apply to college. We help teens like Marcus find their path out of poverty, but we know we wouldn’t be able to do this without the support of our community.