We introduced Hope Cottages – an exciting new temporary housing concept for homeless men and women – at Pinellas Hope, a ministry of Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg, in the Spring of 2016. At that point we embarked on a $1.5 million fundraising initiative. While we raised over $1.6 million, unplanned expenses (e.g., electrical, emergency access road, fire alarm system) caused us to build only 33 of the originally planned 50 cottages. Consequently, we have moved to the post-construction phase of the project: sustaining the cottages (fundraising to cover maintenance and utilities).
We embarked on this ambitious plan of converting many of the tents used by the homeless residents of Pinellas Hope (homeless shelter located in Clearwater) to Hope Cottages (TM) in order to enhance the resident’s quality of life and self-esteem, thereby hastening their return to stable, permanent housing. Catholic Charities, with our partners, volunteers and investors, re-purposed 33 shipping containers (original goal was 50) into sleeping quarters for 99 residents. The 20-foot long steel containers are re-configured into three separate (56 sq. ft.) “Certified for Habitation” living spaces. A multi-level improvement over existing tents, these individual sleeping rooms provide:
- Safety: Built to withstand Category 4 Hurricane winds (Miami-Dade building code)
- Privacy: Individual room, lockable steel door with security peephole, and exterior light
- Comfort: Air conditioned space, bed , LED (night) light, window (for natural light), bug-free
HELP BUILD A LEGACY OF HOPE
Thank you to our hundreds and hundreds of contributors. While we exceeded our $1.5 million goal, we also incurred unplanned expenses (e.g., electrical, emergency access road, fire alarm system) that limited us to building only 33 of the original goal of 50 units. All units are presently certified for occupation and are being used as projected.
Through your gift, you have helped build a legacy of hope for our residents and fellow citizens:
Guardian of Hope (one cottage room) $10,000
Bob and Aylie Boitmann
Mr. Perry Clouse
Knights of Columbus John F. Kennedy Memorial Council #5635
Monsignor Joseph F. X. McCahon
Mrs. Judith Richard*
Greg and Elizabeth Sembler
Senior Citizens Services Inc. (two gifts)
Parishioners of St. Michael the Archangel Church (Clearwater)
Veterans United Foundation
Protector of Hope (one, 3-room cottage) $30,000
Stephen and Ellen* Andon
Rick, Joyce, Julan and Jacob Baker
Dr. Jerry Kluft, DDS
Denny and Cynthia Marcotte
Michael and Sandra Maslowski
Monsignor Joseph F.X. McCahon
Michael & Denise McCracken
J. Stephen Putnam
Carl and Toni Riche
Marilyn and Dan Rupp
Chris and Lauren Schellman
John F. Shettle and Abigail Smith
Defender of Hope (two 3-room cottages) $60,000
Bon Secours Health Systems
Champion of Hope (four 3-room cottages) $120,000 and higher
The Spurlino Foundation
Mark and Marianne Mahaffey
The People of Pinellas County (Pinellas County Human Services)
* Judith passed away February 27, 2019; Ellen Andon passed away September 6, 2019.
In addition to the donors listed above as well as the other hundreds of contributors, we wish to thank the St. Raphael Knights of Columbus Council #10157 (led by Grand Knights, Jerry Sirgey, Dave Bach and Kevin Greeno) and in particular Father Kevin Mackin, O.F.M. all of whom were instrumental in bringing this project to fruition.
As we move forward to our ‘Sustaining’ phase of the project, we continue to seek your support of the homeless residents of Pinellas Hope. In addition to several hundred thousand dollars in unplanned expenses, ongoing electricity costs (the tents used no electricity) are cannibalizing the Pinellas Hope operating budget. The funds we had hoped to generate to cover these expenses through the initial Hope Cottage donations, obviously did not materialize. So, we still need your help.
We are a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, so your donations may be tax deductible (consult your tax adviser).
- Please encourage your friends and organizations to join you in supporting Pinellas Hope.
- Group giving: 100 individuals giving as little as 10¢ per day OR
- Individual giving: as little as $1 a day (the cost of a inexpensive coffee)
- If your company matches charitable donations, please use their program to qualify for a match.
- Please consider leaving a lasting gift as a bequest to Catholic Charities or Pinellas Hope.
The link above will take you to the Pinellas Hope donation form page (pinellashope.org/donate/). To ensure you donation is made for Hope Cottages, type “Hope Cottages” in the ‘Special Notes’ box.