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 | By Katie Camario

Community Unites to Offer Support to the Homeless

May 22, 2023 | More than seven individuals who were experiencing homelessness just days ago have a safe place to sleep at night, thanks to a partnership between Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Tampa and Hillsborough County.

“We're partnering with the county for this homeless outreach event. It's to get people housing, medical care, and provide them haircuts, clothing and food,” said Father Mike Jones, OFM the pastor of the church which is located in downtown Tampa.

The outreach day was a community effort held at Sacred Heart’s North Campus where volunteers from the church and local organizations joined forces to provide a range of services to help meet the immediate needs of homeless individuals.

Throughout the day, volunteers served hot meals, handed out clothing and blankets, provided bicycle repair services and haircuts for those who requested it.

Representatives from local shelters and community organizations were also on hand to provide information and referrals to those who needed additional support and long-term assistance.

“The key thing is to try to get as many people off the streets today as we can,” said Father Jones.

Parish leaders say they plan to host events like this more often, as they are a proven gateway to recovery for those who take part.

“God's love is for all people. Some of us have been given a little more than others,” said Father Jones. “And what can we do with what we've been given to help others you know, sort of giving back to God what God has given to us and a lot of that is through helping others who might need it. I think it's a time of realizing we might have to sacrifice something that we have, so that others might have.”

The initiative reached a total of ninety-one clients who were assisted by forty-nine volunteers and the thirty-six vendors.