New tent city opens in St. Petersburg
Debra Lilley unpacks her things in a tent after arriving at Pinellas Hope, a new facility that provides assistance and shelter for 250 people.
Photo from the St. Petersburg Times
Homeless Pinellas residents are moving into Pinellas Hope, a temporary "tent city" operated by Catholic Charities on 10 acres in an industrial area in mid Pinellas County.
The five-month pilot program was the multiagency response to last year's homeless debacle that thrust the city into an unwanted national spotlight. That's when St. Petersburg police caused an uproar by slashing dozens of tents belonging to the homeless.
Catholic Charities donated the land, the Pinellas County Commission kicked in $460,000 and charities donated $500,000 to run the camp from Dec. 1 to April 1.
The community response is admirable, but a few issues still simmer.
Four people were arrested during the required background checks on the tent city's first day because they were wanted on active warrants.
Read the St. Petersburg Times article here.