A Palm Beach County man is making a difference and helping the voiceless be heard. Francky Pierre-Paul founded the association A Different Shade of Love. The organization’s goal is to change the perspective of homelessness. He said anyone can do this by listening and understanding.
“If you see someone holding a sign, instead of taking money out of your pocket, have a conversation and ask their name,” Pierre-Paul told WPTV’s Michael Williams on To the Point.
Advocating for the homeless community that makes a difference
Pierre-Paul became an advocate after experiencing homelessness in his late teens. He launched his association three years ago.
A local homeless advocate distributes blankets
“Passion has been with me all my life. I just didn’t know how to convey that passion,” Pierre-Paul said. “The fact that no one was doing it was an aha moment for me. When I was at my lowest, hidden behind a mask, I couldn’t find this way out. I didn’t know who to talk to or how to talk to this person. I didn’t know there were resources.
Policy Roundtable with Brian Crowley
A Different Shade of Love volunteers not only help the community by delivering food, distributing blankets and giving haircuts to those in need, but they also work with Palm Beach County leaders to make sure everyone knows what resources are available.
One program available is the SMART Landlord campaign. The county partners with landlords to help house people who are homeless or on the verge of homelessness. Pierre-Paul said his organization alone has helped about 100 people over the past few months.
“Instead of taking them to the streets, we can close this gap. If you have $800 a month that you earn, the county can step in and put in the next $300 and instead of being homeless, you have a house and the landlords can get their payments on time,” explained Pierre- Paul.
Other programs are also available to help you. Pierre-Paul said county leaders have been a big help but it also takes ordinary people to solve the homelessness crisis.
Closing comments with Brian Crowley
“I really feel like having more conversations about this issue can help a lot,” Pierre-Paul said. “A lot of people have the opportunities and the means to serve and they just don’t know how to do it. So being more empathetic, some people can’t sympathize, that’s okay. But empathy. If you have enough empathy to open this conversation, you never know, this resource that you have, can help save a multitude of people.
Click here to learn more about the organization A Different Shade of Love.