A Hand Up

My name is Valerie Doss and I have lived in Florida for 36 years. I have been a local business owner for 30 of those years. I am also an Army Veteran. I am a single child,  my parents are now gone and all of my remaining family lives in Missouri. I could never have children of my own, but I think I would have been a good mom :)
I have had an idea in my mind for a few years now and that is why I am coming to you. I am currently unemployed, and have been wondering what to do now with my life.  I'm not religious, but I feel something or someone has been nudging me for a while. At this time in my life, I am ready to listen and ready to do!

Let me start my saying I have never done a fundraiser before, especially one of this magnitude.  I am asking for $200,000.00. Yes, that is a lot of money! This is my idea: I want to buy a house for single women to live in.  If I could afford this all by myself I would have already bought a home for them.

When I was in the Army, we all lived in barracks. There were a slew of bunk beds, dressers, a communal shower and kitchen. All of us ladies shared these spaces and in essence were a large family sharing the responsibilities of everyday life. I want to buy a basic home here in my community to help out women who need a hand up. 

In my 30 years of being behind a retail counter, I witnessed daily the struggles that many women face in today's world trying to make ends meet. Living in Florida is very expensive and the majority of women that don't have a spouse or partner to help them; fall between the cracks. With the average rent here in Florida being about $1200.00 per month, it is virtually impossible for a single lady on minimum wage to afford to live- anywhere! And $1200.00 per month does not include the other necessities to live day to day.  Some of these women have small children, and are at risk of loosing them because of their inability to afford adequate housing.

My idea is to buy a house that these women can call home, at least until they get on their feet. Another thing that is difficult for these women is affording the start up fees to even get into an apartment or house. First, last and security usually ends up being around $3800.00 or more to just move in. Many of these ladies do not even have that amount  in their checking account. If I could buy a basic house that could be retro-fitted, I could fill a need in our community for these women. Just like when I was in the Army, each bedroom would have several bunk beds, I would have a communal bathroom built and and a communal kitchen built. These ladies would have a safe and secure place to call home. In the meantime, they would be able to save money and get back on their financial feet. I would not charge rent if I could get the house paid for in full. I would only charge them what basic monthly bills would cost.  Electric, water, insurance, food etc. would be divided among the ladies and would be a nominal charge based on actual expenses.  My goal with this fundraiser is to provide an environment where women can support women and empower themselves to go farther in life than before.  My role in this process would be to maintain the home in proper fashion and make sure the ladies are safe.

The amount requested is a lot, i know.  $200,000.00 is the cost of a basic home here in Florida. With a retro-fit, this project may be upwards of $250,000.00. I hope we can get to the latter figure so it would be move in ready for the women.

I hope you find faith in me to help me conquer this mission.  I have been a member of the Venice, Fl. community since I was 18.  I am now 54. Many members of my community know me personally and know that I am an honest and giving person. I will make a personal promise to each and every donation received. I will provide you with updates, progress (if we can get there!), photographs and personal testimonies.  I will email each of you and show you how we have progressed!

Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Yours truly,
Valerie Doss
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