WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — At the Bible Way Resource Center in Winter Haven, volunteers put together food boxes meant to feed a family. They make enough in a single day for at least 50.

What You Need To Know

  • Salvation Army recently closed emergency shelter in Winter Haven over financial issues 

  • Local organizations along with city officials are coming up with solutions to find more housing for families in need 

  • Heart for Winter Haven is considering purchasing the property and open it up to families in need again 

Outreach coordinator Lydia Adcock helps to get things organized.

“If people come and have an emergency, a homeless situation, then we will put together a quick care package for them, especially someone with a family," she said. "You know they just need to eat now.”

Helping others in need is Adcock’s passion.

“If I could do this full time and still get my rent paid, Hallelujah!” she said.

Adock experienced homelessness herself after escaping domestic violence. She says the need for resources like affordable housing, food, clothing and transitional housing is growing.

This comes after the Salvation Army recently shut down a family emergency shelter for women and children in the city. The facility was nearly $125,000 in debt. More than a dozen families have been relocated to other facilities.

However, the facility might have a new beginning. Heart for Winter Heaven, a center that provides rental assistance, mental health and education to get people back on their feet, is considering purchasing the property. Executive Director Brad Beatty says they are working toward that goal.

“We’re working with some of our city leadership and investors to see what can be done with the homeless coalition of Polk County to maybe see if we can resurrect it,” Beatty said.

Heart for Winter Haven helped Adcock during her darkest time and says the organization is a lifesaver.

“I know if I hadn’t had the opportunity, I would have hightailed it back to what I knew,” Adcock said.

Adcock is now giving back by volunteering for the Bible Way Resource Center. The organization is small but its looking to expand and provide transitional housing. She also wants to expand services, but they are in need of funding and more volunteers to help out.

The organization recently created a Facebook page to bring more attention to their efforts and hopefully gain more funding.

For Adcock, this is her calling.

“I am a great testimony by God’s grace of paying it forward. Somebody helped me and here I am wanting to help someone else,” she said.