Our History

Pope Francis and Bishop Parkes

Catholic Charities celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 2020! For those 75 years, Catholic Charities has worked in the Greater Tampa area providing strategic alliances, advocacy and a broad array of social services designed to support and preserve families and promote self-sufficiency.

The Agency serves all residents of Citrus, Hernando Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties regardless of race, creed, gender, national origin, handicapping condition or socioeconomic status.

1945-1968: Catholic Charities was created as the Tampa Office for Charity under the auspices of the Diocese of St. Augustine in order to provide social services in the Greater Tampa area. The goal was to relieve the burden on Catholic parishes, which were struggling to meet the needs of the poor in their communities. Developing one central charity provided a more efficient means for the Church to carry out its important works of mercy: among them, feeding the hungry, nursing the sick, sheltering the homeless, and helping the poor.

1968: Catholic Charities continued to grow and evolve, expanding its reach and services. It was created in its present form as a nonprofit corporation in June 1968 when the Diocese of St. Petersburg was established.

Today: Catholic Charities is a $20 million agency with over 170 employees and 300 volunteers. Our work has continued building upon our past, only larger in scope. We serve more people (over 20,000) across a broader geography.  We operate 3 broad umbrella ministries: Foundations of Life Ministries, Shelters of Hope Ministries and Friends in Need Ministries under the auspices of the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

Our strategic focus going forward, in addition to strengthening our Ministries of Mercy programs like our Catholic Charities Free Medical Clinics, is to aggressively expand our sheltering and affordable housing opportunities throughout our five counties of operation.