211 Northwest Florida makes more than 100,000 referrals every year. That referral is often the first step to a better life.
“I was staying with my brother and his wife,” said Gay. “I got my third DUI and was in the Escambia County jail for three and a half months.”
When Gay got out of jail, her brother told her she needed to find a program to help her and a place to live. Gay didn’t know where to turn. Her brother told her to call 211.
“I wish I could remember the lady's name that answered the phone, because she was just absolutely wonderful, very kind, compassionate,” said Gay. “And she told me about the REAP program- ReEntry Alliance Pensacola.”
Gay moved into REAP's transitional housing in January 2021. She graduated about a year later. Now she works at REAP, helping others and giving back.
“You know, God just, he just works in such wonderful ways where, you know, when I first came into this program, I was just broken, just broken,” said Gay. “And he brought me through, and he grew me, and taught me things. And so now I can sit at that front desk and see people coming in. And I'm like, I know exactly how you feel. It does get better. It does get better.”
Gay says her new path began with 211.
“You just call, you know, 211. It's very simple, and you can get whatever you need in order to move forward and succeed,” said Gay.