Ground Breaking for Utilities Project

Tampa Hope to Break Ground on Community Center as it Works Daily to Serve Hundreds of Clients in its Hope Cottages

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Two months after its first residents found shelter inside of its Hope Cottages, Catholic Charities will break ground Monday on its $1.5 million Homeless Shelter Community Center. The facility, named “The Matthew 25 Community Center,” will be the focal point of the shelter, offering a kitchen and dining area, restrooms, showers, salon, and a laundry room.

The non-profit has worked with the City of Tampa for two-and-a-half years to fund and build resources that have benefitted hundreds of unhoused men and women with its 125 tents and 99 cottages. Currently, Tampa Hope has served more than 1,100 clients, and has placed 358 in housing after their stay.

“I am proud of the work already done by the staff of Tampa Hope and their City of Tampa counterparts to address the care of our most vulnerable residents,” Mayor Jane Castor said. “But there is still much work to be done. This community center is one more step toward addressing homelessness in a way that is compassionate and considerate.”

The 7,000 sq. ft. community center, located on the six acres owned by Catholic Charities east of Ybor City, will serve as a natural progression from campground-like facilities to the more permanent facilities clients will navigate as they move to permanent, stable housing. It's name is a nod to Matthew 25 from the Bible, which alludes to bettering ones life and the lives of the poor, vulnerable and in need.

"We are excited to begin construction of the Matthew 25 Community Center funded through the generosity of Drew and Susan Peloubet,” said Catholic Charities Executive Director Maggie Rogers. Our clients will soon be able to have a single facility housing all the necessary amenities."

Since its opening in December 2021, Tampa Hope has served men and women ranging in age from 18 to 60+, with the average length of stay around 90 days. Services provided include three daily meals, toiletries, clothing, medical care, life skills and financial management classes, and substance abuse and mental health treatment.

The Matthew 25 Community Center is expected to open next year.