October, 18 2017

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Help for troubled teens in Florida

When troubled teens can't go home, there aren't too many places they can go. At least now. But hopefully there will be a new place soon.

Raising Money for a Good Cause

Founders are raising money to launch Phoenix Hope House in Lakeland. It promises to be a home away from home for a dozen troubled teen boys who have been through behavioral programs to straighten them out, and need someplace safe to live.

"We want to be that family that many times, many have not experienced," said Eric Holm, Residential Director for Phoenix Hope House.

Hopeful Participants

Johnathan, who is seventeen, can't wait to move in. He has been through Polk County's boot camp and other programs. Right now, he is living with eleven people in a small house.

"People fighting all the time, just doing nothing with their lives," he says.

The teens will decide if they want to live at Phoenix Hope House, and when they are ready to leave. A house mom, dad and helper, will live with them, eat with them, have fun with them, and help them get ready to go out on their own.

What is Expected of these Teens

The teens will hold down jobs, pay rent, and attend religious services of their choice.

"The core of what we believe is that spirituality and faith is very important, and we want to enhance that in the youth we serve," said Erica Allen, one of the co-founders of Phoenix Hope House.

Allen has her eyes on a sprawling old home in Bartow, but needs to raise close to half a million dollars to buy it. A big fund-raiser dinner is going to be held on Friday at Tigertown in Lakeland. On Saturday, Phoenix Hope House will have an Extreme Sports Day for Kids at the same location.

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