Homeless Coalition honors heroes listen11/19/08 SeÃ¡n Kinane
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Tampa and the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners have proclaimed this National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.
Today at its annual meeting, the Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County presented its Homeless Hero Awards.
Homeless Coalition Chief Executive Officer Rayme Nuckles pointed out the Coalitionâ€™s accomplishments during the past fiscal year, including its high profile public awareness campaign, Unexpected Faces, Unexpected Places, which draws attention to homeless residents of the county. Nuckles outlined the contributions made by the Homeless Coalition during the year.
Homeless Coalition vice president Patricia Langford lauded Tampa Crossroads and executive director and former state Rep. Sara Romeo.
Robyn Larson is the director of womenâ€™s residential services at Tampa Crossroads. The Athena house opens Dec. 1 and thereâ€™s already a waiting list, Larson said.
â€œWeâ€™ve kind of stepped outside of the box and we recognize where thereâ€™s a need. Female veterans are not recognized to the extent that we think that they should be â€“ women in general. And we just really put our hearts forward to offer support, life skills and a second chance.â€
Two Homeless Hero recipients were not present to accept their awards. Thomas Chandler received a Direct Service award for his role as volunteer director of the Open Arms Ministry of Hyde Park United Methodist Church.
Republican state Rep. Faye Culp received the Advocacy/Awareness Building award for sponsoring a homelessness bill in the Florida Legislature.
Lee Hoffman won the award for an individual who is homeless or formerly homeless. Homeless Coalition president Joan Cain Boles read from the letter of the person who nominated Hoffman.
â€œThe more people that I can educate â€¦ I believe that we can solve [homelessness].â€
Photo by SeÃ¡n Kinane/WMNF