Pinellas Hope has a large annual operating budget and can only support the homeless with the assistance of our generous benefactors. In addition to the daily operational needs (clothing, food, tents, utilities, staff, etc.), here are some of the large items with which our residents need your assistance and how you can make an IMPACT in their lives:
See BELOW for our needs and the IMPACT $10 makes or simply donate below:
#1 – Sidewalk
There is a half-mile gravel drive that runs from the front of Pinellas Hope (where the homeless shelter is located) to the Apartments where qualifying, low income individuals reside in subsidized one-bedroom efficiency apartments. Many apartment residents are disabled, some are Vets, without transportation. Getting from the apartments to the front of the camp – 126th Ave. N. – and subsequent access to public transportation – is extremely difficult. It is heartbreaking to see folks whose walker wheels get stuck in the gravel or muddy grass alongside the road and who have to work with great difficulty to get out of the quicksand-like surfaces. A sidewalk would make life much easier for these elderly, often disabled residents. The price tag for the sidewalk is $45,000.
#2 – Library Floor
The library is like an oasis in the desert for the residents of Pinellas Hope. It is one of the few air conditioned spaces in the shelter where the residents can cool off. Here they can read books, play board games, or take part in other activities: Pinellas County health checks, Alcoholics Anonymous sessions or Sunday Mass. Sadly, a hole in the floor which has widened over time has made the room dangerous and therefore off limits to the residents with few exceptions (e.g., supervised, official activities such as some described above). We have received estimates and the cost to repair the floor is $20,000.
#3 – Golf Carts
Pinellas Hope is situated on twenty acres of swampy land. There are no sidewalks and only two gravel drives – one located within the homeless shelter that provides access to local emergency vehicles and one alongside the shelter that allows vehicular traffic to access the apartments in the rear. Golf carts are a necessary time-saving mode of transportation for the staff and allow delivery of heavy items as well as transportation of the elderly and/or disabled residents. Our golf carts are very old and are breaking down. We need, at a minimum, two 4-passenger golf carts (or ATV vehicles). We have identified carts that cost $2,000 each.
#4 – Dinner
Meals are 100% donor-supplied. Pinellas Hope is blessed to be supported by many generous meal providers – individuals, families, companies, restaurants, church groups – but there are between 20 and 40 nights each year where no meal is provided. Dinners are the most heavily attended meal of the day as many residents have jobs or school and are not present for lunch or breakfast. Between 150 and 250 people typically dine. Meals typically cost between $7.50 and $10.00 each. Accordingly, we estimate each meal costs approximately $1,500 – $2,500.
#5 – Tents
Tents are the primary shelter used by Pinellas Hope residents. While Hope Cottages(TM) were introduced in 2016, they were not intended to replace 100% of the tents. Space and very soft soil across much of the camp that is in need of an expensive drainage system installation (est. $200,000) preclude that as well as the fact that many residents are initially fearful of a house-like, confined space, and actually prefer the relative ‘openness’ of the tents. However, the conditions in Florida are rough on tents – from high winds and heavy rains to the power and heat of the sun – and as a result each tent typically has an expected life of no more than 90 days. Thus, one resident staying at Pinellas Hope for one year would have lived in four tents during that time at a total cost of $300.
#6 – Counselors (mental health/substance abuse)
The vast majority of homeless suffer from some form of substance abuse and/or mental health issues. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in its 2015 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR) estimated that nearly 25% of homeless adults suffered from severe mental illness with 45% suffering from any type of mental illness. This is inline with other studies from groups like the Treatment Advocacy Center (cited that as many as 33% suffer severe mental illness) and others. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration study in 2003 found 38% of homeless abuse alcohol while 26% abuse drugs. According to the American Public Health Association, numerous studies place these numbers at 30% and 10%, respectively. Given these realities, the key to returning our neighbors who have suffered homelessness back to the path of self-sufficiency is often times intertwined with the need to provide them with the necessary counseling services. One licensed counselor costs over $50,000 annually in salary and benefits or over $200 each day!
Other IMPACTS your gifts make:
- $15 – free eye exam and one pair of eyeglasses
- $10 – Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) Bus Pass (unlimited rides) for 1 month
- $5 – toiletries for one person for one month