Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Pinellas Hope adds apartments
to its community of tents and sheds

Pinellas Hope II offers 80 new permanent efficiency apartments, in addition to its 250 tents.

Pinellas Hope, which already houses more than 250 people in temporary tents and small wooden sheds, has opened 80 new permanent efficiency apartments.

The newest addition, called Pinellas Hope II, cost about $4 million. Pinellas County, as well as the cities of St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Largo, contributed $1 million for construction. The remaining $3 million came from a state housing grant.

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster said the city is fully committed to supporting Pinellas Hope financially.

"The city of St. Petersburg has the largest homeless population of any city in the county and we need Pinellas Hope to assist us in helping people get off the streets," Foster said.

The efficiency apartments will be open to anyone in the county on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants must meet low-income requirements and be able to pay rent.

Pinellas Hope opened about three years ago as a temporary camp for the homeless. And in that time it has served about 2,300 people and has a 55% success rate (based on the number of former residents now living self-sufficiently or with family).

Pinellas Hope II plans to begin accepting applications next month.

Read the Tampa Tribune report here.


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