Homeless Coalition honors heroes

11/19/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:


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 Coalition’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.

Tampa Crossroads was recognized as the Outstanding Agency for its Athena Program, a transitional housing and treatment program for homeless female veterans.

Homeless Coalition vice president Patricia Langford lauded Tampa Crossroads and executive director and former state Rep. Sara Romeo.

Robyn Larson is the director of women’s residential services at Tampa Crossroads. The Athena house opens Dec. 1 and there’s already a waiting list, Larson said.

“We’ve kind of stepped outside of the box and we recognize where there’s a need. Female veterans are not recognized to the extent that we think that they should be – women in general. And we just really put our hearts forward to offer support, life skills and a second chance.”

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.

In April, Hoffman petitioned the Hillsborough County Commission for funding to provide homeless individuals with voice mail and identification cards.

“The more people that I can educate … I believe that we can solve [homelessness].”

Photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF

Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County

previous WMNF coverage of Athena Program

Athena Program

Tampa Crossroads

previous WMNF coverage of Lee Hoffman’s efforts to provide homeless individuals with voice mail and identification

previous WMNF coverage of the Unexpected Faces campaign

Unexpected Faces, Unexpected Places

Open Arms Ministry of Hyde Park United Methodist Church

Representative Faye Culp

comments powered by Disqus


homeless partners

I read your "homeless coalition honours heroes" article today. It is great to read homeless-friendly writing. I am involved in a project called Homeless Partners - www.homelesspartners.com This project is being undertaken in 8 cities across North America this Christmas: Denver, Las Vegas, Miami, Portland, Vancouver & Kelowna, BC, Calgary, Alberta, Regina, Saskatchewan. We ask homeless in these cities what they would want for Christmas and a little about themselves. Whatever they feel comfortable sharing, using first names and ID #s for identification and anonymity is posted as interviews on the website: homelesspartners.com. Our next goal is to find any types of media sources to cover the story. The aim is to drive visitors to the website so that people in the local community can read the stories of their homeless neighbours, purchase gifts, make cards and deliver them directly to the shelter.The gifts and cards are then distributed to the intended recipient. Receiving a personal gift, with their name on it and a card or letter helps the recipients to feel valued, respected and cared for. We are wanting to get the word out about the project. If you are able to pass the www.homelesspartners.com website on to any other websites - have it posted on the website, or if you know any other reporters/bloggers that would be interested in doing a story on this project that would be so helpful. Thanks, again, we appreciate your writing.