New Beginnings - Groveland

New Beginnings of Central Florida is dedicated to helping the homeless and less fortunate in South Lake County, to revitalize their lives through counseling services, work, and affordable housing.

Co-Founder Steve Smith and Executive Director notes, “Some people think that homeless people will never recover to live a responsible life. At New Beginnings, we believe that those who want to transform their life can do so, with the many resources we provide.  We provide free counseling, life skills, financial literacy, access to a computer and job preparedness training, all of which lead to a path of stable employment and affordable housing. Our first step to rehabilitation starts by us offering free housing at New Beginnings Village with free counseling and job training.  This first step takes 6 to 9 months to complete.”

Woodwinds Apartments

Smith continues, “Our next step offered is permanent and affordable rental housing at Woodwinds Apartments coupled with free support services as well as free after-school programs for students. Our final offered step is to help them gain Affordable Homeownership: Affordable home ownership is available for those who want to own their own home rather than renting.

With community support, New Beginnings plans to create a series of small 2- and 3-bedroom affordable homes to purchase, priced under $200,000 in South Lake County. Hope begins when a homeless person makes the decision to accept the New Beginnings Hands Up Program to begin their journey out of homelessness.”

After retirement, Steve and Linda Smith moved to Clermont from Ohio after they retired from their corporate jobs. Smith shares, “On one Sunday morning following church service, Linda and I met a homeless man who would transform our lives and inspire us to help others.” They committed their lives to helping the local homeless get back on their feet. They founded New Beginnings of Central Florida as a non-profit homeless service facility with volunteer help from a pastor, counselor, job trainer, social worker, accountant and an attorney.  They initially rented a large home to house those homeless who wanted a hand-up.

New Beginnings Village – Citrus Tower Boulevard_

Over the years, New Beginnings acquired several affordable homes that could accommodate up to 40 homeless and low-income households.  They provide housing for families, seniors, veterans, seniors and moms with children. In 2016, the State of Florida awarded New Beginnings and a Tampa-based partner enough money to build 96 affordable rental units. Woodwinds Apartments opened in 2018 where New Beginnings provides two case managers to help people when difficulties arise and classes to improve their lives. Today, they are expanding their affordable housing visions in Clermont, Groveland and throughout South Lake County.

New Beginnings of Central Florida owns and manages a successful Thrift Store.  While helping the community to access affordable clothes, household appliances, kitchenware and furniture, the store revenue covers 85% of the costs to house and rehabilitate those who want an opportunity to transform their lives and to find a way out of homelessness. 

New Beginnings of Central Florida, is a 501-C3 non-profit faith-based ministry. They seek volunteers, donations and community support. They serve to empower people to live a responsible life and to be self-sufficient.

For more information, call 352-404-6946 or visit their Thrift Store at 415 Citrus Tower Boulevard in Clermont, FL 34711. Visit: and follow them on Facebook at:

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