Department Mission Statement:
To advocate for the human service needs of our citizens and connect them to resources that will assist with their health, housing and other essential needs. To maximize and leverage the strengths and resources of our community to enhance the quality of life for all citizens-veterans, individuals, and families.
Social Service Planning Goals
- The City will strengthen its leadership in homeless planning and social service coordination.
- The City will identify and prioritize human service needs and will then advocate addressing those needs.
- The City will have a stable, seamless, quality system of care that meets the needs of its most vulnerable citizens.
- The City will strengthen communication and involvement with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, specifically with the location at Bay Pines VA Healthcare System.
- The City will have strong internal systems and controls to monitor its own activities in the area of human service coordination and support.
Administration ResponsibilitiesFor Homeless Initiatives, the city has a position, strategic plan and ordinances that address conflicting concerns of downtown businesses, faith-based groups, providers, advocates and general citizenry relative to homeless issues. The city designates a "point person" to communicate with these various groups and serve as the public relations department for all issues concerning homelessness:
- Coordinate with the St. Pete Street Outreach Team and Police Dept. Downtown Deployment Team to address homeless issues. Receives downtown homeless report weekly and outreach reports monthly.
- Works with St. Vincent De Paul Center with three City initiatives: Vincentian Care Center, PODS homeless person storage units and family shelter program.
- Assist Pinellas Hope operational activities – oversee $100,000 City funding.
- Assists Pinellas Safe Harbor with operational activities and oversees $150,000 in city funding.
- Represent the City on a variety of committees, boards and ad hoc groups throughout the City and County that address the numerous homeless issues and efforts to solve problems throughout the Community.
- Interface with the community (citizens, businesses, advocates, agencies, other governmental entities, etc.) regarding homelessness and other issues by answering questions, listening to comments and speaking engagements.
- Coordinate with the Housing Dept. regarding CDBG and ESO funding for homeless initiatives that they fund and/or support.
- Coordinate for cold night shelter program for the homeless.
- Assist other city departments with issues around homelessness – recent activity includes working with multi-family units that are in foreclosure ensuring that all families are placed in a safe environment.
Social Action Funding Grant Program ($446,000) - Learn about bids at the Social Action Funding page.
- Oversee contracts awarded to not for profit agencies by competitive bid process.
- Oversee fiscal reimbursement and program reporting for each agency throughout the year.
- Coordinate and support the Social Services Allocation Committee and their functions.
- Work with city funded as well as other funded agencies throughout the community to plan optimal approach to social service issues.
- Recover Pinellas – board member of this policy group which has developed an Emergency Response Plan for Social Service agencies which will ensure the care of those most vulnerable in our community in the time of a disaster.
- Pinellas County Administrative Forum Board – board member representing City as an active funder of many social service agencies. This board makes decisions regarding the direction of the community of social service providers.
- Faith based – work with local faith based entities, churches to educate them on how to assist others.
- Member of the Tampa Bay Cares HMIS Committee – central data system and referral/information center for social services community throughout the County.
- Interface with City Council Members as needed through committee settings, one on one, and assist with constituents needs as necessary.
- Assist implementing any initiative as determined by the Mayor's office.
- Apprise both the Council Members and Mayor's office of issues facing the community regarding social services.
Documents, video and resources about these initiatives are available online.