Homeless women will have a new place to stay next year in downtown St. Petersburg thanks to the generosity of Tampa Bay residents.
The new building will be a two-story 20,000-square-feet haven for women who are either homeless or deemed “working poor,’’ meaning they make too much money to qualify for government assistance but not enough money to afford housing, food and the average cost of living.
“The style of the building called new-urban, is similar to the neighborhood of St. Pete,’’ says Beth Houghton, executive director of the St. Petersburg Free Clinic
. “The core of the building will house 50 women, 20 of those women will be in semi-private rooms and the other 30 women will be in smaller, but private rooms. We had been a 20-bed facility in the old building. So it's a very big increase.’’
There will be a training room and facility for training including computer skills, resume writing and budgeting. The kitchen is set up so that the women can cook together, and other people can come in and teach about better nutrition.
Houghton says the total project cost is about $4 million, and to date they have either gifts in hand or pledges for $3.6 million.
“We are thrilled and excited, but we need a little more,’’ she says. “The project will be named for David and Virginia Baldwin, and it will be called the Baldwin Women’s Residence. David gave a substantial lead gift in honor of his late wife and “helped us move forward in making this happen.’’
The clinic also has a loan with Cornerstone Bank
should they need any additional funding. The contractor on the project is Hennessy Construction
out of St. Pete.
The Baldwin Women’s Residence is set to be completed in January 2016.