Housing and Neighborhood Public Services
Public services are an integral part of a community's support structure and are offered through the work of private and public organizations. Services that support the provision of housing for targeted groups, aid in the revitalization of targeted neighborhoods, or assist the homeless are the primary emphasis of Community Development. Often, support is through the provision, expansion, or rehabilitation of facilities from which to operate a service, rather than funding the service itself.
Housing services include a down payment assistance program, Home Buyers Club, housing placement and referrals, fair housing counseling, heavy household cleaning service for seniors, and housing and referral information for the Hispanic community, all through nonprofit agencies. Neighborhood services include funding for operation of a Neighborhood Development Corporation, a YMCA program, and production of a neighborhood newsletter.
Homeless and Other Special Needs
Emergency Shelter Grants funds as well as County Homeless Initiative funds support homeless emergency shelters' operations and/or services. These activities are selected through the local Social Action Funding and Homeless Initiative process. Projects are selected through two Boards which review the applications, make site visits, hear presentations, and also gain input from staff. The Pinellas County Homeless Leadership also assists in the recommendation process for homeless activities. The Coalition consists of homeless shelters, transitional housing, and service providers. It prepares the Continuum of Care document for HUD's Super NOFA applications, conducts annual surveys on the number and Demolition-graphic characteristics of the homeless, and is generally knowledgeable about the needs of the homeless. Emergency Shelter Grant funds have been allocated to seven nonprofits serving the homeless. Funds support operating costs and/or services of the agencies.