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                 Homeless Housing Innovation: A Step-Up in Rebuilding Lives

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. We ended the campaign in late 2019 and presently have 33 cottages on-site. Three of those are dedicated to residents who are part of our Medical Respite program.

CURRENT NEED                                                                                                            While we are no longer building more Hope Cottages, we still have funding needs. Specifically, we need to pay for sustaining expenses: ongoing maintenance and utilities (electricity) 


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


Site Map

Thirty-three of the original fifty cottages were built.


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

Dan Doyle

Dex Imaging

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

John Genaro

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.

Sustaining Phase

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.