State Rep. Kevin Ambler spoke to the Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County today at Stetson University in Tampa, about community voice mail for Tampa.
Jen Germaine was there...

With 4 hurricanes hitting Florida in the passed 2 months, the public and political perception on how easy, becoming homeless is, is changing, according to Rep. Kevin Ambler, who wants to use this moment to bring a vital service to Tampa... giving Tampa's homeless population a connection to voice mail.

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Ambler went on to describe the population he sees using the community service.

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Ambler wants to go beyond the programs for the homeless in Orlando and St. Petersburg, to extend not only a phone number for voice mail, but also some sort of ability for the homeless to return calls for free.

Ambler, who is running for re-election, against libertatian Kim Snow, for District 47, which includes parts of hillsborough and pinellas county, asked the coalition to embrass community voice mail.

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The Homeless Coalition, which is comprised of businesses, agencies, individuals, and service organizations, who work on behalf of the homeless, was receptive to the community voice mail need, however were septical the republican state house or the governor would deny their efforts, as they have experinced in the passed requesting funding for the homeless.

Members also reminded Ambler that both the St Petersburg and Orlando homeless voice mail programs are privately funded, since no state funds were able to be obtained.

Pastor Danny Williams of Deeper life Christian Church spoke of his personal experience and the voice mail idea.

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Carol Griffiths, from healthcare for homeless veterans, women's division.

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Eric Perez, who personally has run his own voicemail service since 1997, first for metropolitan ministries and now for the salvation army, also addressed the need.

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Representative Ambler hopes the homeless coalition will take up the voicemail issue and request the $80,000 to 95,000 from the state's community budget. The Homeless coalition of hillsborough county has until November 15th to request the state for funds.

For wmnf this is Jen Germaine

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