Today St. Vincent de Paul, South Pinellas welcomed the Mayor of St. Petersburg Rick Kriseman, St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway, Neighborhood Affairs Administrator Mike Dove, Manager of Veterans, Social & Homeless Services Cliff Smith and introduced by our Executive Director Michael Raposa. This press conference was called to announce the Mayor’s initiatives to end homelessness in St. Petersburg.
Michael Raposa: “For the past 53 years SVdP has almost always said ‘yes’ to the City and others who have asked our help. Even when we were not quite sure what we were getting ourselves into. You have been invited here today because once again St. Vincent de Paul is happy to say ‘yes’ to the latest challenge from our City government.”
“Ending homelessness for all who seek it must be our top priority. It is a goal that it is within reach for the first time in the history of our community.” said Michael Raposa at today’s news conference.
Mayor Kriseman: “The success of the Day Program led to an increased budget allocation to St. Vincent De Paul, to be used specifically for these 24/7 accommodations and support services. I am confident that it will continue to be a smart investment of our tax dollars.”
“This week, we are adding another tool to our toolbox. We are joining with cities all across America in repurposing some of our unused parking meters. These Power of Change meters will be strategically placed throughout our downtown area. Residents and visitors who want to help a homeless person are encouraged to support the agencies and programs that serve the homeless rather than giving money to panhandlers.
The City of Denver has installed nearly 100 of these meters and collects approximately $100,000 annually from them. While we certainly don’t anticipate that kind of money, we do anticipate it generating a few extra dollars to help us meet the need that exists.”
Today was just the start of a new cooperation between SVdP and the City of St. Petersburg and to highlight the excellent work that’s been done so far in 2014 to address and reduce homelessness in our City.