Charrettes for homelessness: The Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County, with support from the Corporation for Supportive Housing, sponsors a series of charrettes Tuesday and Wednesday to assist in the development of a new 10-year plan to prevent and end homelessness. The northwest Hillsborough County meeting will be from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at Wesley Memorial Baptist Church, 6100 Memorial Highway. The central Hillsborough meeting will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Metropolitan Community Church of Tampa, 408 E Cayuga Street. There also will be a meeting held in Riverview for southeast Hillsborough residents. For more information, visit www.homelessofhc.org and click the "Get Educated" tab, or call (813) 223-6115.
Hurricane expo: Attend the Tampa Bay Hurricane Expo from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Museum of Science & Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave. Admission to the expo is free and will include access to MOSI's Astronaut Training Adventure. In addition, visitors can see MOSI's exhibit galleries and an IMAX Dome Theatre film for $8 per person (children under 2 admitted). Special engagement films and exhibits, including Mummies of the World, are not included.
At the expo, residents will be able to look up their evacuation zone and learn more about making a disaster plan to help quickly and easily respond to an emergency. A variety of disaster preparedness vendors will be on hand. Guests can take part in children's activities such as balloon artists and face painters, see emergency vehicles from Hillsborough County and Tampa Fire Rescue, take part in giveaways (while supplies last) and have a chance to win an iPad 2.
There will also be question-and-answer weather panels, held at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and hear from meteorologists representing local news stations and the National Weather Service.
BJ's Wholesale Club will have a display showing the quantity of supplies needed by a family of four to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours following a disaster. Tampa Fire Rescue's Urban Search & Rescue canine team also will show its dogs and talk about the team's work.
For more information and the latest news on the Tampa Bay Hurricane Expo, visit www.TampaBayHurricaneExpo.com.
Medicare workshop: A workshop on what baby boomers need to know about Medicare takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday at Grace Lutheran Church, 3714 W Linebaugh Ave. This workshop will cover how Medicare enrollment periods work and how to avoid late-enrollment penalties. Other topics include health care costs after going on Medicare, comprehensive coverage, private insurance costs, and planning for higher health care costs in retirement.
This workshop is educational. No specific insurance or investment products will be discussed. Seating is limited and reservations are recommended. To reserve a space, call Jim Whitaker at (813) 884-6648 or Grace Lutheran Church at (813) 961-8747.
Local jobs: Funds are still available for businesses to hire workers through Hillsborough County's Small Business Job Creation Program.
Currently, 61 businesses have applied for the money, and 87 new employees have been hired, with the average worker making about $15 an hour. Since Hillsborough County Commissioners launched the program last year, 114 new jobs have been created. The 61 businesses have received a total of nearly $379,000 and more than $121,000 is still available for small business owners to hire new employees.
"Things are definitely starting to turn the corner," said Commissioner Sandra Murman, who spearheaded the Job Creation Program.
The program promotes job creation in Hillsborough County by offering a wage reimbursement to small business owners. The reimbursement pays small businesses up to 50 percent of three months' total salary for new jobs created, capped at $3,900 per new employee.
To find out about the program's requirements and download an application, small business owners may call (813) 914-4028 or visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org/econdev.