NEW PORT RICHEY — Bishop Gregory Parkes came to bless this new homeless shelter in Pasco County. The Diocese of St. Petersburg works to help the homeless, and Parkes sees their struggles.
“It’s heartbreaking and you never know the circumstances that might lead somebody to see assistance with housing. We don’t judge anybody and we just want to try and do what we can," said Parkes.
The demand for shelter space is great, and it’s even tougher for men to find a place.
But this shelter is for families that can include male heads of household.
“It’s also going to allow fathers or grandfathers to come in without a woman which is going to help because families staying together is what’s going to help them get through these hard times together," said Danielle Husband with Catholic Charities.
Officials say from January to May this year, more than 200 families would qualify for this shelter. This shelter houses nine families at a time.
And the goal is to get them back on their feet with permanent housing as soon as possible.
“It will hit them when we bring the first family in and we take them out of a car, out of a tent, and we put them in one of these rooms," said Don Anderson, Coalition of the Homeless of Pasco County CEO.
This shelter is the former boys and girls club building that’s sat vacant for years.
County officials have tried to get a shelter here but faced opposition from people in nearby neighborhoods. They expect the first families to move here next week.