As Florida real estate and rent prices continue to rise, charities like the cross-Florida St. Vincent DePaul CARES aim to provide relief to those who have fallen on hard times.
SVdP does this in 16 counties, including Pinellas, by rehousing families and connecting those experiencing homelessness to local support services. In certain cases, SVdP will offer case management services long after the rehoming process.
The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors describes case management as services that assist in getting people the “medical, behavioral health, housing, employment, social, educational, and other services essential to meeting basic human services” they need.
It’s this reason that the Gulfport Merchants Chamber chose the Florida charity as one of the organization’s three Gecko Grant Recipients. After Gecko World – which includes GeckoFest, Gecko Ball, and Gecko Crawl – the GMC will total how much each organization receives.
Any donated funds, including grants, goes into SVdP’s quest to end homelessness in the Sunshine State.
“After the loss of so many lives – and livelihoods – many are still feeling the effects of the pandemic,” said CARES CEO, Michael Raposa. “Jobs that didn’t come back. The end of eviction moratoriums. Rising prices for food and fuel. Florida has seen an astronomical increase in rent costs, ranging between 45% and 50%, while 259,480 new residents flooded in, making Florida one of the least affordable places to live in the nation.”
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This article is part of a three part series introducing the trio of Gecko World applicants. Next week, readers can read a feature on Gulfport’s Sunflower School.