Our History

Bishop Lynch and Pope Francis

Pope Francis and Bishop Lynch Two Great Men of God who frame and form the Catholic Charities we know and love today. Photo thanks to Patty Morris

Catholic Charities is celebrating its 70th Anniversary this year! For the past 70 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 non-profit corporation in June 1968 when the Diocese of St. Petersburg was established.

Today: Catholic Charities is a nearly $13 million operation that continues our earlier work, only larger in scope; serving more people 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 Diocese of St. Petersburg.