2023 Spring Newsletter

Executive Director

Happy Spring!

I enjoy writing this section of our seasonal newsletter, because it allows me to reflect on the obstacles and successes Catholic Charities faced during the previous months. I’m always surprised by the accomplishments and what we learned, especially when I consider how the challenges were faced while maintaining high standards in other service programs.  


This edition is full of examples. I want to start by announcing that Catholic Charities has received a three-year, Florida Blue grant that expands our free mental health counseling. Those seeking assistance can make an appointment at our Tampa location, and virtual sessions are available for those from other St. Petersburg Diocese counties or who prefer that option.


We continue to make progress in bringing affordable housing to Citrus, Hillsborough and Pasco counties. St. Benedict Apartments in Crystal River will soon open with 18 family units. We are growing in Ruskin, too, where 50 new apartments are being constructed on land next to the original La Villas property, an old hotel we converted to efficiency- and one-bedroom apartments just over a year ago. The former Pasco Women's Shelter is being converted to affordable housing for up to eight families, and shelter services have been moved to the newer and larger Felicity House, where we provide transitional housing, case management and other assistance to as many as 28 women.


Our homeless shelters in Hillsborough and Pinellas continue to grow and improve. Half of the 200 Hope Cottages ™ planned for Tampa Hope should be ready for occupancy by late summer. Pinellas Hope’s kitchen is getting a major upgrade that enables volunteers to cook meals for our clients in a new, commercial kitchen. We also want to partner with chefs and restaurants to provide food-service training that will open job opportunities for our clients.


All of these new efforts require funds to build, expand and maintain. We can’t do that without the support given us though fundraising events, bequests, corporate support, and individual donations. As Easter approaches, please consider assisting us in our mission of helping children, women and men in need. Thank you for all you have done to make this possible.


With regards and profound gratitude, 

What's Happening at Catholic Charities

2nd Annual Celebration of Life:

Honoring those we Serve AND those who make it possible

November 17, 2022 – A Night on Fire with the Holy Spirit

Over 550 people spent the night on fire with the Holy Spirit as Fr. Leo Patalinghug created a delicious dish similarly on fire for one lucky table! In addition to having a great night out, these women, men and some children raised over $400,000 as we celebrated our Ministries of Mercy! We told the stories of those we serve, heard from some of them and celebrated our Angel Award winners - women and men who support our clients through donations, volunteering and advocacy!



Pinellas Hope Celebrates 15 Years

of Helping the Homeless

On December 7, 2022, Pinellas Hope celebrated its 15th Anniversary! What started as a temporary response to a severe homelessness problem in the city of St. Petersburg has become an oasis for the many men and women who have suffered through homelessness since then. In that time, the shelter has served over 15,000 people and served over 2 million meals. We have expanded the basic services providing shelter, meals, bathrooms and showers to include alcohol, substance abuse and mental health counseling, basic medical and dental care, access to financial and legal case assistance, and case management to help people navigate the services needed to return to the path of self-sufficiency; namely, permanent housing and an income to maintain that stability. Importantly, we recently received approval for our kitchen redesign plans and will soon be upgrading it with gas appliances to cook meals on-site, a walk-in freezer/refrigerator to store more items and enhanced storage and layout. Long-term, the goal is to establish a culinary arts workforce development program so clients leaving Pinellas Hope can find employment in the hospitality and restaurant industries.


Reflections on 2022 - Client Stories & Impact

THANK YOU for your most generous support throughout 2022! We emerged from a pandemic only to face a difficult economy that pushed housing and everyday expenses beyond what many households could handle. As a result, we served a record number of people - nearly 19,000 - through our three Ministries of Mercy. Learn about our mission, who we helped, and read some of their stories!


Mental Health Services - Expanded Territory

Need someone to talk to or to just listen? We are here for you! Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg has skilled counselors available to provide tools to assist with the stressors of everyday life. Our counselors are prepared to provide you with the support needed to overcome various life changes. Our Free Services are now available throughout the Diocese of St. Petersburg's five-counties (Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Citrus and Hernando) and include: Free Counseling (In-Person or Telehealth Sessions), Coping Skills, Goal Setting and Flexible Schedules.


MEDIA - highlighting our Clients & Services

(Click image to be directed to Featured Story)

Home for the Holidays: Carl Walker

Tampa Hope: Cold Weather Preparations

Home for the Holidays: Linda Ealy

Preparing for Cold Weather at Pinellas Hope: Client Sandy Getz

Preparing for Cold Weather at Pinellas Hope: Client John Scheidt

After the Cold: Follow-up with Pinellas Hope client Sandy Getz

Immigration: helping Gina Joseph from Haiti

Jose Fernandez quoted in Tampa Bay Times 'Immigration' story

Catholic Charities among groups selected by Hillsborough County to build affordable housing

Perinatal Comfort Care assists parents facing trauma of a pre-natal fatal diagnosis

Tampa Hope's Otis Reynolds - Moving On!

Tampa Hope - Renovations Ongoing

Tampa Hope - serving 125 People with Goal of sheltering 325 homeless women and men at full capacity. Renovations to the existing administrative building and site construction are ongoing. We will soon be assembling our Hope Cottages. After laying electrical lines underground we will power the units with the goal of moving clients into them by late summer.

Building to House Electrical Panels for Site

Main Office Space

Women's Bathroom



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