Homes for homeless

ST. PETERSBURG – Two non-profit groups that work with the homeless have received a grant of more than $28 million to build dozens of affordable housing units downtown.

The grant from the state of Florida was given to Ability SVdP, LLC, a joint venture of St. Vincent de Paul CARES and Ability Housing, Inc. They propose to build 73 “Vincentian Villages” adjacent to the Center of Hope shelter at 401 15th St. N. operated by St. Vincent de Paul. The units would be for individuals and families earning 60% or less of the area median income.

Fifty percent of the units would be reserved for those exiting homelessness, including at least 5% specifically for homeless military veterans. At least 15% of the total units would be rented to households that require special support, including those with disabilities or requiring independent living services.

The site was selected to ensure residents have access to public transportation, primary and behavioral healthcare, and employment hubs; training in basic daily living skills; and assistance with improving employability/

Construction is expected to begin in 2023.

Libraries resume programs

ST. PETERSBURG – Free educational summer programming will be offered May 28 through July 30 by the St. Petersburg Library System this summer – and this summer it will be in person.

The ocean-themed stories, presentations, crafts, activities and more for toddlers, teens, and adults encourage readers to keep reading and learning over the summer while school is out. 

This will be the first year since 2019 that St. Petersburg Library System's summer programming will take place in person.

Summer programming will kick off at the Mirror Lake Community Library Saturday, May 28, from 10:30 a.m. to noon where participants can pick up a Summer Programming Guide and take-home activities.

Core information can be found at splibraries.org.

City weighs redistricting

ST. PETERSBURG – Residents interested in becoming involved in St. Petersburg’s redistricting process are invited to apply for appointment to the Citizens Redistricting Commission. 

The commission, which is assembled every 10 years after the release of the decennial census data, is responsible for creating and recommending new boundaries for City Council districts using a process established by the City Charter.

The commission will be comprised of nine total members, with one member appointed by Mayor Ken Welch and by each of the eight City Council members. Appointments are expected to be finalized at the August 4 meeting of the City Council. 

For more information, visit stpete.org/citizens-redistricting-commission.

 Boomerangs mark anniversary

 GULFPORT – The Gulfport Boomerangs Senior Softball League celebrated its 50th anniversary on April 2 with festivities and checks for $300 each to the Gulfport Senior Center and the Gulfport Little League.

The Boomerangs play at Hoyt Field every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings at 8 a.m. Men 55 years and older and women 45 years and older are invited to play.  

For more information, visit the Boomerangs Facebook page.

Social service agency grants

 ST. PETERSBURG – Social service agencies that provide homeless services and/or homeless prevention services are invited to apply for up to $50,000 in Social Action Funding grants from the city of St. Petersburg. Some $700,000 is available for allocation this year, and contracts will cover the period from Oct. 1, 2022, through Sept. 30, 2023.

Applications can be submitted through July 6 and can be found at stpete.org/socialactionfunding.

Priority will be given to agencies that provide services for homeless families with minor or dependent children, unaccompanied youth and those aging out of foster care, vulnerable individuals, chronically homeless individuals and veterans, and victims of domestic violence.

Applicants must attend the mandatory Bidders/Technical Assistance Workshop, which will be held Friday, June 9-11 a.m., in person at City Hall, 175 5th St. N. 

Interested applicants can print the application and guidelines found at stpete.org/socialactionfunding and have them available during the workshop.

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