Carla Ambrose moved from Philadelphia to Florida with the promise of moving in with a friend. After arriving, that friendship didn’t materialize and Ambrose was left living in her car.

“I had no family of friends,” she said.

That lasted a few weeks until Ambrose was told about The Refuge outreach church in Clearwater. The church, started by Michele and Shaun Powers in 2016, offers a place for the homeless community to gather each day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The couple helps assist the homeless with ID cards, birth certificates and hosts bible study on Wednesday mornings. Ambrose immediately latched on to the resources the outreach church provided.

“This place is a refuge to me,” she said from the curb in front of the over 100-year old building. “When I was homeless, I would come and eat every day and they fed me spiritually, mentally and physically.”

Ambrose, who likes to tell people she was homeless but never helpless, was able to secure a job with the help of The Refuge. Now, she returns to visit with those in her community that are still trying to get out of their homeless lifestyle.

“I think it is very important to have a net to catch you when you’re falling,” she said with a smile. “This is my net.”

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