United Way group raises money to keep families from being evicted in Sarasota County

Five hundred and thirty-nine people, some seniors and other families, face an uncertain future in Sarasota county at the end of July.

"The eviction ban has been expanded, but we are looking ahead," said Erin Lilly, the Vice President of Strategic Growth and Communications for United Way of South Sarasota County.

Lilly is also a member of Women United, a group under the United Way. They are working to raise money to help families with rent, mortgage payments and more.

The group's goal is to help families stay in their homes, but they're also offering services to their children, along with education enrichment.

"Women United is looking at the whole picture, we are not just looking at supplementing mortgage," Lilly told FOX 13. "We are offering that resource, but a lot of funding goes around family support."

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Each member of Women United is hosting a micro-event. Some are food or craft beer tasting.  The goal of each member is to raise at least $1,000 or more from their event.

Women United plans to raise at least $50,000 and hopefully up to $100,000. That's money to help keep families in danger of eviction in their homes.

Assistance will be given to those living in Osprey down South to Englewood. They need families in need to speak out.

"I think the silence alone is the most heartbreaking for me," said Nicolette Sanders, the Members Director for Women United.

Standing outside the new headquarters for United Way South Sarasota County, Sanders talked about the importance of community support. Their new building was just funded by the Selby Foundation.

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Sanders says she understands what families are facing.

"There was a time when I had no idea how I was going to pay the rent. We’d come home monthly and there would be yellow signs on our door saying it’s time to get out," she said.

That was more than a decade ago.

Now she's working with Women United to keep families from experiencing the pain she did.

"It really hit home to me that this was the mission and that I am now in a much better position mentally and financially, so why not jump in feet first and help. We just want families to know we are here for you and we got you," she said.

To find out how you can help, visit United Way's website