Message from the Executive Director
St. Petersburg Free Clinic’s mission of providing for basic needs: food, shelter and medical care, has never been more critical to our community and our neighbors than now. This past year was amazing for many reasons. The faces in this Annual Report tell the story: neighbors helping neighbors. It is through the volunteer efforts and generous contributions of our community that we have been able to serve so many in need. As my predecessor, Jane Egbert, liked to say, “there is a place for everyone at the Free Clinic, those who need care and those who care.”
One of the momentous things that occurred during this last year is that Jane retired after 12 years of service as Executive Director. Both St. Petersburg Free Clinic and I are grateful for her service and continue to count her as a dear friend. After a grueling process (no, I’m not kidding!), the Board of Directors named me the new Executive Director in December of 2011. I thoroughly enjoy serving our community with the dedicated employees, volunteers and donors of St. Petersburg Free Clinic.
With funding from a Bank of America Neighborhood Builders grant, we were able to renovate many areas of the main building, expanding space for our We Help Services program and pantry, as well as the Health Center. Beacon House had its first full year as a transitional residence for men, assisting men to achieve stability and independence. The Food Bank collected a record 2 million pounds of food! Read the rest of this report for more news of the year.
Much was accomplished, but much remains to be done. The fastest growing segment of the local and national homeless population is families with children. Our community simply does not have adequate programs and facilities to keep up with the heartbreaking demand. Our Board has committed to accept property formerly used by ASAP Family Services, Inc. to commit to a new family homelessness program. The program will be in collaboration with the Juvenile Welfare Board (JWB), 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares and Personal Enrichment through Mental Health Services (PEMHS). This transfer of property is contingent on the approval of St. Petersburg City Council, which we hope will occur within a week or so after the release of this Annual Report. We hope to report wonderful things about the new Family Residence in our next Annual Report.
Thank you all for caring. You make a difference!