200% rent increase temporarily shutters Palm Beach County nonprofit
A nonprofit located in Palm Beach County is facing tough economic times after serving the community for more than a decade.
The Osto Group says on its website that it meets the needs of those who have fallen on hard times by providing them with quality medical supplies and the necessities for living.
If the nonprofit can't rebound, people across the country could suffer and have to scramble to find these critical supplies.
One of the people they have helped is Jeff Davis, a cancer survivor who works at a farm supply store in northern Alabama.
"I had bladder cancer. It will be 10 years ago in November," Davis said. "I had to have a bag on my side."
"Was it difficult to get the things you needed while recovering from bladder cancer?" WPTV anchor Ashley Glass asked him.
"Yes," Davis replied.
That's where the Palm Beach County-based Osto Group has helped Davis in a big way.
Representatives of the nonprofit spoke to WFLX at one of our “Let’s Hear It” community meet-ups.
Members said that even though they've been locally based for the last 15 years, they deliver critical ostomy supplies to people across the country who've had bowel surgery.
"How much has this group helped you?" Glass asked Davis.
"I can't say it in words," Davis said.
However, the Osto Group has encountered a huge snag.
"How are you guys staying afloat right now?" Glass asked members of the Osto Group.
"Well, actually, at this particular point, everything is put away in storage," Barbara Hymans of the Osto Group said. "We suspended our operations."
They said they've been priced out of their warehouse located near West Palm Beach where they store all their outgoing supplies.
The nonprofit's rent is going up by 200%.
"Right now, we're not able to meet the needs of all the ostomates we've been helping over the years, and we're continually getting calls now from ostomates who've found out about us, but they are now in a lurch," Hymans said. "They don't know what to do."
"So, what is the hope?" Glass asked.
"Well, if you know what an ostomy is, you know how important it is that these people have their supplies, and our passion is to be able to make those products available to the people in need," another representative of the Osto Group said. "We need a handout right now just to get back in business.
They are now looking for an area where they can store these critical supplies.
That plea is echoed by Davis and thousands of more people who will need these supplies for the rest of their lives.
"They've been closed for a little while, and I can't wait for them to open back up," Davis said. "I hope they find them a place."
Three founders of the group have been using personal savings in recent weeks to help the Osto Group.
Click here to learn how you can help the nonprofit.
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