We are introducing an exciting new temporary housing concept for homeless men and women. Pinellas Hope, a ministry of Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg, is conducting a $1.25 million fundraising initiative in partnership with the Knights of Columbus.
Goal: Improved housing will enhance residents’ quality of life and self-esteem, hasten their return to stable, permanent housing, and increase the number of residents successfully doing so.
Pinellas Hope and our partners, volunteers and investors are repurposing 50 shipping containers into sleeping quarters for 150 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, exterior light
- Comfort: Air conditioned space, bed , LED (night) light, window, bug-free
While national, state and local homelessness is declining (-11.2% and -13.6% since 2007 and -18.6% since 2009, respectively)1,2, it remains high in Pinellas County:
- Our homeless population is 6,000 (0.6% of total population), 3.5 times larger than the percent for the U.S.2-3
- Pinellas County fares worse than the U.S. on Income – a top contributor to homelessness4
- Median HH Income: $45,574 vs. $53,657
- Pinellas County fares worse than the U.S. on Housing Costs – a key driver of homelessness4
- Rental Costs (% of Income.): 34.9% vs 33.2%
- Home Costs (% of Income): 21.5% vs. 19.5%
Pinellas Hope residents win immediately as these sleeping quarters improve their living conditions. Experts believe an improved living experience delivers improved outcomes. This benefits all of us because as residents graduate from Pinellas Hope, they move to their own (permanent) housing and do not return to homelessness (lower recidivism).
Furthermore, these housing units enable Pinellas Hope to provide a more durable and cost-effective, even profitable, alternative to tents:
- 30-50 year life expectancy versus 11-12 month average tent life
- $29,167 depreciation cost/year ($17,500 at 50-year life) versus $40,000 cost/year for tents and related items (e.g., mattresses)
A HISTORY OF HOUSING SERVICE
Catholic Charities has been providing social services to West Central Florida residents (Pasco, Hernando, Citrus, Hillsborough, and Pinellas counties) since its 1945 founding. We offer services ranging from homeless shelters and affordable housing to respite and free medical care, as well as pregnancy services. In 2015, we served over 14,300 clients.
Pinellas Hope was created in 2007 to address the need to provide local homeless with temporary shelter. Since then, Pinellas Hope has assisted nearly 6,400 men and women with shelter, food, and related services and returned nearly 3,300 to stable, permanent housing.
Our housing expertise is not limited to the homeless. We also provide housing to the elderly, those suffering from HIV/AIDS, and low income and farm worker families. Housing and housing-related services accounted for 40% of our clients and 73% of our spending in 2015.
HELP BUILD A LEGACY OF HOPE
The total investment is $1.25 million. Phase One construction ($300,000 for 12 Hope Cottages to replace 36 tents) is already underway and expected to be completed by Fall 2016.
Through your gift, you will build a legacy of hope for our residents and fellow citizens:
Guardian of Hope $10,000 (naming rights for one Room)
Protector of Hope $25,000 (naming rights for one 3-room cottage)
Defender of Hope $50,000 (naming rights for two cottages)
Champion of Hope $100,000 (naming rights for 4-cottage deck)
We are a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, so your donations are tax deductible.
- Please encourage your friends and organizations to join you in supporting Pinellas Hope.
- Group giving: 100 individuals giving as little as 68¢ per day for a year houses three residents.
- Individual giving: as little as $5 a day (the cost of a fast food meal) over 5 years builds one resident room.
- 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.
1 – 2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress: Oct 2014
2 – 2014 Point-in-Time Housing Survey: Pinellas County
3 – 2014 AHAR to Congress – Oct 2014
4 – U.S. Census Bureau: 2014 American Community Survey (factfinder.census.gov)