Summerdale, Ala – (WKRG) Beth Biggs has made a career out of helping people. For more than three decades she has improved the lives of others through social work, group home management and case management.
As director of Family Promise of Baldwin County, she uses her expertise to help homeless working families with children find homes of their own.
“I love people. I love helping not just the people we serve in Family Promise but serving our volunteers, giving them the opportunity to live out their faith mission of serving others less fortunate and It’s kind of like doing mission work right here in your own hometown in your own home church. So, that’s been a real blessing,” said Biggs.
She has an office in the program’s Day Center in Summerdale where works to bring homeless families and churches together. Sometimes families will stay at the center, but it mostly serves as a place where they can keep their belongings while sleeping in churches overnight.
“She helps you regain your respect for yourself, treats you just like she would her own family you know…makes you feel like a person again,” said Rodney Merrell. He lost his job because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Merrell, his wife and six children lived in a hotel and campground until Biggs helped find them a home.
“I gratefully appreciate all the hard work that she put forth to help our family out,” said Merrell.
She holds leadership positions with a number of homeless coalitions. In 2020, Biggs participated in a discussion on homelessness with Ben Carson, then U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
“I love helping people move from that point of crisis to a point of stability and I’ll be honest with you. It’s really about the kids,” said Biggs.
When she was 16 working at a camp for special needs children, she brought home a five year old boy named Jimmy who was going to be returned to the foster system.
“I said to my parents can we keep him, because he’s just so awesome,” said Biggs. Her parents adopted Jimmy. Her brother is now 44 years old living in Foley with her parents.
Biggs, a grandmother, says she draws her strength from her faith in Jesus Christ and she feel very blessed to carry out the mission of Family Promise and to have support of her own family.
“I’m not gonna not help. It’s who I am. It’s what I love to do. I have a wonderful life partner in my spouse who supports me in everything I do. He’s a wonderful volunteer. He enjoys helping people and we make a team of it, and it’s just wonderful to be able to do that. I can’t just sit at home and watch tv,” said Biggs.
Biggs also writes grants for Family Promise. The United Way agency also depends on contributions, and fundraisers. Merrell says before he and his wife fell on hard times, they donated to the program. Now, he’s a volunteer serving as a board member.