5 Years Faster: Homeless Leadership Alliance Relocates Capri Mobile Home Park Residents with $250K ARPA Funds Through PCF and the City of Clearwater

by | Oct 31, 2023 | 5 Years Faster | 0 comments

The Pinellas Community Foundation’s (PCF) 5 Years Faster initiative, powered by ARPA funding through the City of Clearwater, helps 38 families find new homes.

In a heartwarming tale of community collaboration, the Pinellas Community Foundation’s (PCF) 5 Years Faster initiative, powered by ARPA funding through the City of Clearwater, played a pivotal role in enabling the Homeless Leadership Alliance (HLA) to execute a remarkable mobile home relocation project.

Dr. Monika Alesnik, CEO of HLA, succinctly captures the essence of this partnership: “I’ve worked with a lot of community foundations across the country, and I would say that PCF is not only the most cognizant about what is going on in their community, but they are truly one of the best collaborators that I have come across.”

At the core of this collaboration lies a transformative mission. The 5 Years Faster initiative, an outcome of ARPA funding passed by Congress in 2021, has already sprung into action, bringing a fresh wave of hope to communities reeling from pandemic-induced setbacks. Through this initiative, PCF joins forces with local governments in Pinellas County and the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater to maximize the impact of ARPA Grant Programs, addressing a spectrum of needs from construction to mental health.

How to Relocate a Community

The HLA relocation project stands as a beacon of what collective determination can achieve. In a mere 90 days, HLA, with the support of the City of Clearwater’s $250,000 funding, successfully relocated 38 families facing eviction. Driven by compassion, they knocked on doors, organized events, and fostered relationships, not merely providing shelter but restoring hope and dreams.

Dr. Alesnik emphasizes the broader implications: “When you’re working on a short-term project, the goal is to collaborate and solve the problems. Through this collaboration we have with PCF, one of the best parts was, we were able to not just solve the problems, but develop best practices that can be used by all organizations going forward.”

Providing More than Shelter

The project’s impact ripples beyond statistics. Families have found stability, regained custody of children, embraced sobriety, and reconnected with the American dream. This is a reminder that homelessness transcends mere statistics; it’s a challenge that requires unified action.

The PCF-HLA partnership resonates beyond this project. It underscores the mission to reshape the narrative surrounding homelessness and affordable housing. This collaboration isn’t just about rehousing; it’s about systemic change. By leveraging data, refining strategies, and fostering partnerships, PCF and HLA are not just alleviating homelessness, but addressing its root causes.

The PCF’s 5 Years Faster initiative, administered with the City of Clearwater’s ARPA funding, serves as an inspiring model of how collective action, strategic collaboration, and compassion can ignite transformative change in our communities. Learn more about this innovative initiative.

Aerial drone view of Capri Mobile Home Park, which has been abandoned. Beyond, new apartment buildings are seen at the former site of Southern Comfort Mobile Home Park in Clearwater. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

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