For the past 41 years Susan Bain has given of herself to make a change in the homeless community of Broward County. Her first mission was opening Exotic Elegance, where she could train the homeless in props, and building, while providing them with Shelter, and food. This seemingly small step turned into something grand! The Clients in the program were amazingly astute, and ended up winning awards in the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show a couple years in a row. This led rise to them being placed in Jobs with the clients “Sno” had contacted. As the leader of the group Sno Inspired the guys to not only,come togather and help each other, but showed them that they had worth beyond imagining.
Several years after the creation of Exotic Eleglance, disaster struck. Hurricane Wilma had destroyed the warehouse and all the designed props located within. Totaling almost Two Mililon Dollars.
Not wanting her guys to be on the streets, she called a meeting with the guys and listened to what they had to say. Heartbroken and afraid to let them go she quickly came up with a plan. ‘We will use the insurance money, and get a loan from SBA Disaster Loans to purchase a new warehouse and get the required machinery to start manufacturing cabinets” She Said. Knowing that it would take years to rebuild the props, we could manufacture cabinet and closet parts. The guys quickly jumped on board, and were willing to go forward. Sno set up Tony Fitzgerald with what we needed to begin working.It was a struggle for Sno to do all this. the fear of not being able to provide right away for the guys,and taking out a second mortgage on her house to pay the bills for their housing… But she kept the smile on her face and continued as if nothing was a matter. Needless to say we succeeded in getting the business in the shop we needed to get by,and were now training the guys in a career that would follow them for the rest of their lives.The name of the shop was then made (PTL Cabinet Designs) Meaning: Praise The Lord
There are many other facets to Starting Over Enterprises, INC. Sno works hand in hand with other community groups to supply food for others not in our program, and has partnered with; Arms of Hope, The church of the intercession, and Cooperative feeding programs to extend her mission to the homeless in our community. Making local connections with , Such as; Whole Foods, and Albertsons, She was able to do even more to feed her clients, and others in need elsewhere. Opening the Thrift Store on our grounds was also a great help to the community. We get Donations all the time from Hotels,Warehouses, and Private Owners, That we sell in our thrift store at a deeply discounted prices for the community at large.
The city of Oakland Park had placed Restrictions on the ability to have our thrift store operate in a B3 Zone. Sno has meet with community leaders such as Mayor, and Commission Leaders to solve the problem. Knowing we didn’t have the money to revamp the whole complex, she came up with the creative ideal of using the space as a storage & viewing area, While opening a new venue online.
This would allow her to use the space and continue to get donations, While making the sales online.We have made great strides in this, and now generate the additonal income needed to pay the Light bills. Our complex has been approved by the State of Florida for those needing community service hours, and has been recognized by winning the Governors “Point of Light Award”
For all that She has given of herself she just wants to see people be successful. It’s Hard Sometimes,and the world around us might beat us down, but for those who want to make more of themselves and live well in our community, Sno is the one to go to!!!