In May 2020, early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the President of Harbor58 was asked to help foster youth turning 18 and on the brink of homelessness. Upon research, it was shocking to realize how few resources were available for these young people in our community. Aging out of the foster care system means these young people are removed from situations of abuse or neglect, and their biological parents were not able to complete their case plan to be reunified before their 18th birthday. If the parental rights were terminated, these are the youth who have never been adopted. Feeling abused and passed over by the system, most youth are counting down the days until they are on their own. Little do they realize how inadequately experienced and equipped they are for this transition.
Harbor58 will meet the most urgent and basic needs by first providing housing and helping foster youth feed and clothe themselves, but not with the bare minimum of care.
We plan to help them see their value through their surroundings - a beautiful cottage community to call home for 18 months. That is just the beginning, as on-site mental health services, life skills courses, apprenticeship opportunities, and mentorship will afford them opportunities like their peers who have grown up in traditional home settings. We will provide quality and personal attention, with a model that will be duplicable by others who have the desire to help with this population. Success will be seeing these youth transition into adulthood empowered and equipped to meet their full potential.
Like family, Harbor58 will be with them all the way - even after they leave.
Missy & Jay Parmenter
Jay and Missy met while attending a leadership college in Atlanta, GA. After graduating they served on staff at the college for four years working closely with students and helping them develop life and leadership skills.
In 2012, they joined the staff members at Oasis Church during this time the Parmenter's were introduced to the foster system first hand. As relative caregivers for their now adopted daughter, their heart for kids in care began to grow.
Missy is the President of Harbor58 and currently serves as a Guardian ad Litem for Manatee county. She also oversees the foster ministry at Oasis Church. Jay oversees the facility and building projects on Oasis property.
The Bell Family has an extensive history working in the child welfare space in our area. Since 2007, Mimi worked as an Independent Living Specialist through the Safe Children Coalition, they helped launch the local chapter of Safe Families for Children, and were House Directors for a ministry of Youth For Christ, called The 180 House.
They also served as missionaries with YWAM (Youth With A Mission), which took them around the world, but primarily they served on the global leadership team of the YWAM Refugee Circle while living in Europe.
As founders of the non-profit, Harbor58, they have been crucial in the launch of this ministry. Before a sudden and fatal heart-attack in November of 2020, Caleb “passed the baton” as President of Harbor58, naming Missy Parmenter as the new President. Mimi remains a key member of the board.
Dianna and her husband, Steve, first moved to Florida in 1998, when he transferred with his employer and she joined Tropicana. Later, their careers then took them to Chicago, Dallas and Ireland, before they returned to Florida in 2017. Serving has always been near to her heart - from serving with Steve as a mentor and regularly hosting foster kids for “family dinners” to supporting and fundraising for her local community center and co-chairing a national organization of professional women with a heart for giving and serving. Dianna decided to retire early to spend quality time with family, traveling, and serving those in need within her community. She describes Harbor58 as “an amazing opportunity to leverage my personal and professional experience to make a difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable young adults in our community.”
In September of 2011, with the help of an amazing team, Oasis Church was launched as a brand new church in the Sarasota/Bradenton area. With previous experience as youth pastors in St. Petersburg, FL and a campus pastor in Middleburg, FL. They are passionate about leadership development and helping people discover and reach their potential as they walk in relationship with Christ.
Oasis Church has a heart for families and feel especially called to support those affected by the foster care system. Our ultimate goal is for no family to feel like they are carrying a burden alone. The need for foster homes in Manatee and Sarasota counties alone is staggering. Every single day there is a child in need of a safe home.