Dozens of St. Petersburg Community activists and students from Osceola High School get together each year to sing Christmas carols for the city’s homeless. Sunday night the caroling stroll called “Still No Room at the Inn,” walked through downtown St. Petersburg to share songs, books, and food with the homeless.
John Stewart is an English teacher at Osceola High Sc who has worked with ASAP homeless service for over two decades. He organizes the caroling each year in order to connect students with a new point of view.
The carolers sang for homeless people, some who appeared to be only half awake as they slept in church doorways. Although some homeless continued sleeping through the singing, the carolers continued to sing for those whom they believed they could cheer up.
Karen Bolden is the executive director of ASAP Homeless shelter where Stewart has been volunteering. She knows first hand what it’s like to struggle with homelessness.
Every year ASAP has caroling they also host a dinner for the homeless. John Stewart said the cookout is a way to bridge gaps between otherwise separate communities.
Reyna Weismanel is one of the student volunteers with the National English Honor Society of Osceola High School. The group donated books for children at the shelter.
In Pinellas County as many as 1,600 people may seek shelter nightly. For information about donating to the shelter, or to volunteer, call ASAPat 823-5665.