Update on the Refuge, Tent City, and other items, URGENT
Hello everyone, I want to thank everyone for all the thoughts, prayers, and support.
Our benefit shows did not do as well as we would have hoped. THe State Theater show almost broke even, the benefit at Skipper’s did better and we came out about $450 ahead for the Refuge. But, things do remain difficult financially. We, along with other advocates, have arranged for an alternate tent city site at a Church (Lakewood United Church of Christ) for about 30 tents with up to a 60 day arrangement. This was necessary as there are far more homeless than the 75 tents to be put at a site the city of St. Petesburg is going to manage. Also, it was felt by leaders in the homeless community at the tent cities at 15th st. and 18th st. that since the city did not seem willing to put in writting that the homeless representatives and advocates could not have equal say, even though it was quaranteed verbally by the city, that other alternatives must be explored, especially since there are far more than 75 tents worth of individuals at both sites, not to mention homeless still on streets and at another Church. Plus, a number of the those that have been placed in apartments or hotels for a month can’t afford to stay there next month. So, options must be sought.
So, this is being written to you to seek you help. We are asking that you would consider helping support this effort, as well as, helping out the Refuge. We are struggling every month to make ends meet. Alot of you may not be aware, but the Refuge has a 96 bed addictions Recovery program called Lionheart Recovery. And, this program is self pay, so we struggle every month to make ends meet with that, as well as all the other outreaches we do ,including tent city. So, we are asking you to consider helping us in one of more the following ways: Financial support (we are way behind this month), donated items (hygiene product for the homeless, tents, paying to portalets, blankets, water, food(for new site), snacks, flashlight/lanterns), portalets, portable showers, and volunteers.
We also urge you to write or call the city of St. Petersburg to urge them to give equal say at their proposed site , in writing. And, we urge everyone to oppose and contact the city that you do oppose impending ordinances that would make it illegal to sleep outside if you are homeless. The city council is meeting for it’s second reading this Thursday, March 15th at 6pm at City Hall in St. Petersburg. Please come and voice you opposition to this. You can call City Hall at 727 893 7171.
Lastly, we all know that tent cities are not the ultimate solution to homelessness in St. Pete. or anywhere, they are but a step. What is need is housing first, affordable housing and living wages. So, if you can help please send financial support to the Refuge at our new office mailing address at Norwood Community Church at 1818 29th Ave. north, ST. Petersburg, Florida 33713. Make Checks payable to the Refuge.
If you have any questions, please call me at 727 278 1547.
Thank you and God Bless you and keep you and give you peace, Rev. Bruce Wright