FAMILY FOCUS: Safe house opens in Jacksonville Beach for female veterans and kids struggling to stay off the streets

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Life hasn’t always been easy for Natalie Marcano-Sidberry. A single mother, she spent a year living in her car before the Northeast Florida Women Veterans organization saved her. Now, she’s on their team, saving other women.

“My pain had to have purpose, and that’s why I do what I do now, so that another female veteran does not have to go through what I went through,” she said.

St. Andrews Lutheran Church in Jacksonville Beach donated a four-bedroom home to the organization. Dubbed the “lighthouse”, the home offers hope and comfort to families going through tough times.

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Caseworkers like Marcano-Sidberry will help the women get back on their feet.

“Jacksonville in particular is an extremely veteran-friendly city. There’s so much funding for veterans, it’s just where you have to go,” she said.

Her hope is that the lighthouse will be a turning point for women and their children.