Tampa opens ‘Hope Cottages’ to support those experiencing homelessness

Hope Cottages

The 99 cottages are 64 square feet, and provide a bed, air conditioning and heating, smoke detector, fire extinguisher, power outlets, shelving, windows, and storage space. (Image via Tampa.gov)

By Crystal Harlan

May 1, 2024

The transitional housing project is the result of a partnership between the city of Tampa and the Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg, which operates Tampa Hope.

Tampa’s newly constructed “Hope Cottages” for those facing homelessness are now open and welcoming tenants.

The 99 cottages are 64 square feet, and provide a bed, air conditioning and heating, smoke detector, fire extinguisher, power outlets, shelving, windows, and storage space. They can even withstand Category 5 hurricane-force winds.

There is access to restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities on site, and the charity provides three meals a day, toiletries, and clothing to its residents.

In addition, the University of South Florida’s Tampa Bay Street Medicine group regularly visits Tampa Hope to run a free health clinic.

The transitional housing is the result of a partnership between the city of Tampa, and the Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg, which operates the project Tampa Hope to shelter people facing homeless. The city of Tampa funded 75 of the cottages, each one costing approximately $10,000.

Prior to the addition of the cottages, Tampa Hope had 125 tents on wood platforms. Many of those who have been staying in the tents will transition to the cottages.

The timing of the project is crucial, as Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed a law that prevents people without fixed residences from camping or sleeping on streets, sidewalks, and public parks.

“It’s no secret, times are tough,” Lou Ricardo, director of marketing for Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg, told Fox13. “Price increases, lack of affordable housing, people losing jobs, and so with that… more homelessness.”

Catholic Charities launched Tampa Hope in December 2021 with 100 tents. The nonprofit is currently fundraising to build 100 additional cottages. To help, click here.

 

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Author

  • Crystal Harlan

    Crystal is a bilingual editor and writer with over 20 years of experience in digital and print media. She is currently based in Florida, but has lived in small towns in the Midwest, Caracas, New York City, and Madrid, where she earned her MA in Spanish literature.

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