At-promise youth, who are unable to access distance learning at home or just need another place to study, now have a space to connect in Broward County. The nonprofit HANDY is the first to serve as one of the Comcast “Lift Zones” in the county. The goal is to launch hundreds more nationwide to provide essential resources for children and families in need.
“We are a lift zone in our community where young people and community members can walk in our building, access the Comcast Life Zone internet essentials and be able to achieve their homework. Whatever they need the Internet for,” said Kirk Brown, CEO of HANDY.
Since 1985, HANDY has transformed the lives of over 50,000 children and family members in Broward County. The numbers have increased since the pandemic hit.
“We’ve seen an uptick where 70% of our population have lost 80% of their income,” said Kirk.
The nonprofit provides a lifeline for the abused, neglected and disadvantaged youth. Each young person receives assessments, counseling and academic support.
“We work with young people that at some point in their life has been victims of abuse, neglect and abandonment and we help them to make it past those obstacles in life that exist as a result of that. Also help them to set future goals that are revised on a quarterly basis to make sure they understand that life they were born into is not the life they have to live or continue into,” said Kirk.
“A lot of the services and goals that we focus on are geared towards education, employment, housing, personal development and life skills,” said Taryn Howe, life coach at HANDY.
Taryn is a life coach at HANDY. Working there for eight years, she says she has seen dozens of students start a new and successful chapter in life, mentioning a 23-year-old who recently connected with the nonprofit.
“He’s been exceeding in all of his classes. He’s been able to bring up his GPA. He’s back on the HANDY scholarship as well as maintaining his financial goals, as far as with budgeting and saving. Recently he was able to close on his first property,” said Taryn.
“If you’re a youth in Broward County between the ages of 10-21 and you want to dream, create and succeed, we’re here to assist you to do that,” said Kirk.
According to Kirk, everyone who enters the Lift Zone is required to wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines. The zone is located at 1717 N. Andrews Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. For more information, click here.