Our Recovery Is Ongoing
As we continue to move forward from the pandemic, one thing we know: neighbors, family, friends, and municipalities are anxious to return to the life we had before COVID-19. We need a healthy, safe place to live, with attainable housing, and a resurgence in our local culture that is vital to our community.
Pinellas Community Foundation is committed to addressing the changing needs of our community as we advance through the healing process of the pandemic. Your help is still needed to resolve issues like unrealistic housing costs, environmental negligence, and more. That’s why we created the PCF Needed Now Fund.
You can help local charities by giving today. Any amount helps. Your entire donation will make an immediate impact in the community. All charities are carefully vetted for their proven record of delivering on their promises.
When our community works together toward a common goal, nothing is impossible. Duggan Cooley, CEO of PCF
You Can Make It Happen
The Pinellas Community Foundation Needed Now Fund was created to address our community’s changing needs as we advance through the healing process. The dollars you give help grant funds to local charities that attend to the community’s immediate needs.
Preserve our environment through responsible stewardship.
How we live with and manage our natural resources affects our community health, and ignoring it can irrevocably alter the well-being of each of us.
We are all connected — humans, plants, and animals. We take in the same air, rely on the same food sources, and experience the same weather. In short, we all depend on the same resources.
A risk to one is a risk to all, including the communities that house us, the businesses that employ us, and the land that supports us.
Pinellas County is brimming with attributes, making it a coveted place to live, work, and play. We must nurture and protect it to preserve the natural resources we need to thrive, especially as we seek to reduce coastal erosion and rising sea levels. This means preserving our vast gulf waters, inland rivers, and habitats for marine life, native plants, and wildlife — including Florida manatees, gopher tortoises, mangrove trees, and sand pine scrub.
Environmental stewardship is the only way to ensure the community’s well-being, both today and tomorrow. Whether protecting natural habitats, committing to cleaner water, reducing air pollution, or expanding solid waste solutions, our environment is the home in which we live. It takes care of us, so we must take care of it.
As our pandemic-weary spirits rise, another threat to the community’s well-being is afoot, and few are immune. No matter your age, education, life stage, gender, ethnicity, or marital status, the threat of unattainable housing has disastrous effects.
Citizens of all backgrounds ─ working, retired, families, veterans ─ are being priced out of one of the most fundamental life necessities: a place to call home. Sadly, this is the tip of the iceberg, as a lack of attainable housing impacts our financial security, mental health, and general well-being.
Employers can’t hire workers who can’t afford to live here. Families can’t become a part of the communal fabric if housing is beyond their reach or if they decide to forgo social activities to make ends meet. Fixed-income seniors can’t survive if forced to choose between shelter and buying groceries or medications. Thus, while Tampa Bay’s population grew by 20% from 2010 to 2020, not everyone is saluting. Pinellas is now the most densely populated county in Florida — more than 3,500 people per square mile ─ yet the county’s peninsula deprives us of buildable space.
Rents and housing costs are skyrocketing while foreclosures and evictions grow daily. Central Pinellas County saw more than a 20% increase in housing costs during the first few months of 2021. With housing costs being the greatest portion of our living expenses and inflation driving up the cost of food and household staples, the lack of attainable housing puts us on a collision course with progress. Mitigating the impact will take solutions-based public and private sector partnerships that consider all contributing factors.
Sustain our arts and culture, an industry that continues to be a community builder in our time of need.
Few events demonstrate the value of the arts and culture like a pandemic. When many retreated into isolation, we turned to the arts as a salve in a time of need. Yet, the industry has suffered along with us.
Visual and performing artists, whose lives focus on creative expression, were forced to be creative in different ways. Without venues for the community to feel, see, and experience their artistry, they had to reinvent themselves to reach audiences that craved their talents. These gifted individuals taught us to rethink our business enterprise conceptions and how we support businesses, especially at the grassroots level.
In our community, the arts and culture industry a livelihood for countless creatives — entrepreneurs, contract workers and consultants, small businesses, museums and galleries, grassroots collectives, and countywide agencies.
The arts play a vital role in our economy, not just as a source of unity, education and enjoyment but as a business driver. Like any business, large or small, the creative community is experiencing the same challenges — the cost of raw materials and rents are going up as festivals and ticket sales are going down. The arts and culture community needs our financial support and advocacy to survive. After all, in 2019, before the pandemic, the arts industry contributed over $1.8 billion to 4.3% of the county’s gross regional product (GRP), a measure of all the economic activity within Pinellas County.
Preserving our environment, securing affordable housing, and sustaining arts and culture are a few of our community’s pressing needs as we return to normalcy in the wake of the pandemic. The focus for the PCF Needed Now Fund will change as the community heals. PCF will review the varied areas of need and refocus support as the community progresses through its recovery to a better place than we were before COVID-19.
Give What’s Needed Now
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