Monday, October 18, 2010

2-1-1 TBC AWARDED $350,000 GRANT

On October 6, 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares, Inc. with a $350,000 grant for social services and benefits enrollment coordination in Pinellas County.  The awarding agency within HHS, the Office of Community Services (OCS), announced that 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares, Inc. was one of five grantees in the nation receiving one-year grants totaling $1.7 million.

"On behalf of our Board, staff and volunteers, we are honored to receive this very important grant to expand 2-1-1 services throughout the community," said Grant Petersen, 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares, Inc. Board Chairman.  "We are pleased to be partnering with three outstanding local organizations - Childs Park YMCA, Daystar and the Juvenile Welfare Board (JWB)."

This one year demonstration grant will support two 2-1-1 access centers located at the Childs Park YMCA, Daystar Life Center in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Both access centers will be staffed with 2 Benefit and Social Services Coordinators that will help individuals and families access multiple benefits and services of government entities as well as local social service programs such as Florida Kid Care, Child Support Enforcement, Food Stamps, Head Start, Veterans Services, Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP), Medicaid, Medicare, Safelink Wireless Florida, Community Voice Mail, etc.

"2-1-1 is flooded every day with calls from individuals and families having a difficult time making ends meet..  Many times they also face challenges when it comes to accessing federal, state and local benefits programs," said Micki Thompson, 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares, Inc. Executive Director.  "The mission of 2-1-1 is to connect people with local resources and we are thrilled that this demonstration project will enhance our ability to connect many more individuals and families to those services!"

"There are many eligible families who are reluctant to obtain assistance at social services offices simply because they may not understand the process," said Yolanda Butler, acting director for the Office of Community Services.  "The release of these funds will help eliminate some of those barriers and assist families in meeting their basic needs."  

"Daystar Life Center is excited to be a part of this initative," said Jane Walker, Daystar Life Center, Executive Director.  "Our mission is to serve people in need of emergency basic needs.  This grant will enhance our ability to directly link folks to services that can keep them healthy, safe and secure in our community."

"Our intent for the Childs Park YMCA is to provide holistic services.  To offer a variety of resources that would not only provide K-12 after school academic programs, positive and productive teen mentoring programs, but also offer support for our seniors, single parents, and grandparents...something for the whole community.  I just can't stop imagining that this partnership is one of many steps toward building a strong and unified community," said Deborah Figgs-Sanders, Executive Director of the Childs Park branch with the YMCA.   

"We were pleased to coordinate with our community partners on this grant," said Juvenile Welfare Board Executive Director D. Gay Lancaster.  "Given these perilous economic times, now more than ever we need to work with outstanding organizations like 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares, Inc., the Childs Park YMCA, and Daystar Life Center to bring resources to Pinellas County."

Other grantees receiving awards included:
  • Amador-Tuolomne Community Resources, Inc., Jackson, CA
  • Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Maine Community Action Association, Augusta, ME
  • PathWays PA, Inc., Homes, PA
 If you would like to help our cause, you can donate, volunteer or request a speaker by visiting our website at www.211tampabay.org