PASCO FAMILY SHELTER must rely on the generosity of individuals and organizations within the community to help provide the three daily meals to nine (9) families. We are expecting to open in late August. Our shelter model has always relied upon a partnership between Catholic Charities and the community. We cannot successfully operate a comprehensive service like a shelter for homeless families independently without public and private assistance.
Our History with Meals – We find the most successful shelters – successful in returning individuals and families to self-sufficiency (income sufficient to allow them to live in permanent, independent housing) – require community involvement. We have successfully served over 12,000 individuals at our original shelter, Pinellas Hope, and with the assistance of the community, have provided over 2.5 million meals since that shelter was opened in December 2007.
WHAT DOES “PROVIDING” MEALS ACTUALLY MEAN?
Meals take many forms. Sometimes an individual family will purchase meals and deliver them. Most groups prepare meals in an organization kitchen (e.g., a church) and deliver them to the shelter. Generally, what is required is that the those who volunteer to “provide” a meal do the following:
- – Cook/prepare the meal offsite
- – Transport the meal to the shelter (keeping it warm in transit).
- – Serve the meal to the residents (this is NOT a requirement).
PLEASE NOTE: We do NOT have a functioning kitchen so meals must be prepared offsite and transported to the facility and then served. The kitchen will have at least one of the following appliances: refrigerator, freezer, microwave. It was not designed to accommodate a actual cooking appliances (oven, stovetop, warmers, etc.)
WHAT MEAL PROVIDERS TELL US – Our meal donors-providers tell us consistently that preparing meals for the homeless and then serving the meals to the residents is the most gratifying and rewarding experience they have ever experienced. It is an excellent way for YOU to give back and help others by demonstrating the caring and kindness that are so important for those who are suffering and in need. Our experience shows that those being helped, the residents, enjoy meeting those members of the community who feed them and enjoy sharing their stories and expressing their gratitude at the dinner table.
STUDENTS AND SERVICE HOURS – Preparing and serving a meal is an excellent opportunity for students to earn ‘service hours’; HOWEVER, students must be part of a larger group – organized by their school, a church ministry group or their family.
How it works:
1. Review the meal calendar to see what meals (breakfast, lunch or dinner) are needed on what days and select one of the days-meals which are ‘open’.
2. Call (727-) or email us to ‘book’ your meal or to inquire if a meal that appears to be filled might have been canceled and is thus available.
3. We will reply within 3 business days to confirm your meal is set. Please be patient as calendars are typically updated weekly. After that time, if you don’t see your meal listed, contact us at this email.
4. Prepare the meal at your location and deliver it to the shelter. Please arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the meal:
- Breakfast begins at 7:00 am
- Lunch begins at 1:00 pm
- Dinner begins at 7:00 pm (first calendar immediately below)