How Would Local Nonprofits Use $25,000 to Help the Homeless?

Local nonprofits weigh in; plus a cute campaign from the Pines of Sarasota and how Sarasota became the nation's giving-est city thanks to this year's Giving Challenge.

By Chelsey Lucas August 26, 2014 Published in the September 2014 issue of Sarasota Magazine

Harvest Tabernacle of Sarasota

“We opened a triage center on Aug. 1 in downtown Sarasota and we’re trying to buy another 22 apartments, providing supportive housing for more than 40 families. With $25,000, we could help an additional 30 people with food, drug treatment, lodging and counseling for one month.” – Pastor Jim Minor, CEO

Resurrection House

“We are seeing approximately 230 homeless clients in a day and more than 400 new clients in a week. We have four showers, four restrooms and volunteers who do more than 60 loads of laundry every day. Once a week we have a doctor, an attorney and a V.A. counselor seeing clients. Gifts of this nature guarantee our ability to provide these basic human needs.” – Bill Wilson, director of development

Turning Points

“One of the major health needs [for the homeless] is dental care. We have the support of the Florida Blue Foundation to help defray dental salaries, but as we increase capacity we are faced with increasing supply and lab bills. The $25,000 would enable 90 clients to get critically needed dentures so they can chew and eat properly and possibly get lifesaving procedures that weren’t possible with an oral infection.” – Adell Erozer, executive director

Family Promise of Sarasota

“That would [help us prevent] three or four families from being homeless for three months. We could provide shelter, meals, daily living items, case management, financial counseling, support systems and guidance, along with aftercare services/case management for each of those families for up to two years [after they find permanent housing].” – Wendy Fitton, director

The Center of Hope

“We would use it to help homeless individuals find an apartment and help them with a security deposit and rent, as well as their utilities and fees. We typically see clients whose rent is in the $600-$700 range, so, we could help nearly 40 people with housing for one month.” – Maggie Green, office manager

Hi pines cs7tme


Senior Selfies

A cute campaign at the Pines of Sarasota raises funds—and awareness.

To promote its cause during the Giving Challenge, senior-housing facility Pines of Sarasota turned to social media, producing a YouTube video that featured residents, staff, volunteers and other Pines supporters taking selfies. “We had fun and were able to reach people of all ages, not just seniors,” says Cindy Jessup, head of development. The indisputable stars of the selfies? Pines residents Naomi Morse and Marjorie Moore played themselves, putting on make-up in front of a mirror while planning their day around a number of their favorite Pines’ activities, such as balloon volleyball, bingo and storytelling.

“It was a lot of fun,” says Naomi of the filming—although the road to stardom wasn’t easy. “Marjorie and I had to go over our lines several times,” she admitted. “Finally we just decided to improvise. And we were good!” --Hannah Wallace

The Fans Went Wild


Facebook views: 12,091

Shares: 77

Total Facebook audience reached: 16,812

YouTube views: 703

New Pines Twitter followers: 61

No. of donations: 94

Amount raised: $36,400


The Giving-est City

On May 6, the 24-hour Giving Challenge, organized and coordinated by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, raised $3,127,000 in donations for 418 different charities. That made Sarasota No. 1 in funds raised out of 120 communities across the country participating in similar giving events that day. --Hannah Wallace 

This article appears in the September 2014 issue of Sarasota Magazine. Click here to subscribe. >>