Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
3:01 am EST
Friday, December 3, 2021

Brian Broadway

Clermont pastor with a passion for helping people is making a world of difference getting homeless families back on their feet. 

Clermont Pastor Brian Broadway, who leads the Living Message Church, had been toying with the idea of starting a homeless outreach ministry transforming trailers into makeshift homes he could park in RV parks to house homeless, when he received a phone call about helping a single mom living in a car with three young daughters.

Brian left work early to meet with the lady and she told him her story.

 “She was living in an apartment complex and working at the Cagan Crossings Walmart. Her husband walked out, and she couldn’t afford childcare and rent,” Brian says.  

The woman was evicted, so she packed up her stuff, loaded her daughters, ages 3, 15, and 16, into her car. However, as they began driving down U.S. Highway 27, the car broke down, barely making it into a nearby parking lot, where they ended up sleeping at night.

“I came home and said, ‘We have to do something,’” says Brian, so he appealed to his congregation and by the end of the service, a lady offered to donate a 30-foot trailer if it could be picked up from Pennsylvania.

“We put the money together, towed the trailer down, prepped it, then went back to that mom and her daughters and moved them into it,” tells Brian, adding that four years later, that mom has an apartment and the 16-year-old daughter, now, 20, owns a home. 

Today, 12 donated RVs and/or trailer homes are used for “Housing First,” a program that allows homeless families with children to live in them rent/utilities free for 6-12 months, while Find, Feed and Restore, now a separate nonprofit organization, helps them obtain self-sufficiency through budgeting and money-management classes, counseling, and training.

Additionally, four more programs operate under the Find, Feed and Restore umbrella including, “Homelessness Avoidance,” which helps families stay in their current homes, “Affordable Housing,” homes located on properties Brian purchased in Leesburg, “Restore Lake,” which helps women fresh out of domestic violence shelters, and the “Care Coach,” a bus turned mobile kitchen for food distribution and information sharing for people in need who may not otherwise get word of assistance opportunities available to them.

Brian also purchased an old 30-acre sports training facility in Groveland he’s transforming into a homeless shelter for men and women, set to open by 2022.  

The programs are all funded by donations and grants Brian learned to effectively write and apply for himself. 

“I always tell people there’s something in each person, something special that you were born for and when you find it, that’s amazing. For me, it’s this,” Brian says, crediting the grace of God for making it all possible. “I love people, I love children, I love seeing people stand again, so to wake up every morning and do what I love, it’s priceless to me.”

About the Author

Originally from Nogales, Arizona, Roxanne worked in the customer service industry while writing independently for years. After moving to Florida in 1999, Roxanne eventually switched her career path to focus more on writing and went on to become an award-winning reporter for The Daily Commercial/South Lake Press newspapers for 16 years prior to coming on board with Akers Media as a staff writer in July 2020 – her dream job come true. Today, Roxanne and her husband Keith of more than 20 years, live in Clermont. They have three grown children: Megan, Darius and Julissa and two dogs, Cinnamon and Remi Lulu. Roxanne says her favorite things about writing articles is talking with the people she'll be featuring, listening to their stories and learning about their passions, goals and heart. Overall, Roxanne is grateful for all the opportunities she's been given to personally witness and realize how much of a difference people can make and how every voice, big and small, really matters. In her spare time and besides writing, Roxanne enjoys spending time with her family, listening to music (especially on vinyl), Zumba, taking pictures, reading, watching movies, cooking with Julissa, and reality TV competition shows. As for her bucket list, Roxanne hopes to one day be a published author of children’s books and travel the world chasing sunsets.

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