Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas Hope adds 10 sheds to its homeless camp

After Daniel Carnegie's bypass surgery, he expected to return to his tent out in the woods.

Carnegie, 50, who is homeless, was able to find shelter, however, in one of the newly built wooden sheds at Pinellas Hope. The 6- by 8-foot shed is undecorated, but comfortable and provides enough room for a cot and space to hang his clothes.

If Sheila Lopez, director of Pinellas Hope, gets her way, she'll add 100 or more of these sheds to her camp shelter in the next year. It all depends on the funding. Each of the dwellings costs about $1,000 to construct, with residents building the sheds to help defray costs.

Pinellas Hope is a camp shelter for the homeless. Originally started as a five-month experiment, the shelter has thrived since opening in December 2007. Erecting the sheds represents the advent of a more permanent structure for the shelter.

For now, access to the 10 sheds will be limited to residents with special medical needs and those who are exemplary members of the camp. Although small, the sheds allow residents to sleep above the ground and are a bit sturdier against the elements. They are ventilated as well. "If it wasn't for this place, I'd be dead," said Carnegie, who is recovering and will transition into a tent at the shelter next week.

"He asked for an extra week, and I said that was fine," Lopez said. "He's doing a lot better than when he first came here."

Lopez said there are plans to also construct 8- by 10-foot sheds that will be available to couples. The initial ones were built by a carpenter who lived at the camp but later moved out when he got married.

The sheds have also been a comfort for Scott Hubbell, 42, who recently had elbow surgery. Sleeping on the ground would be very painful. Unlike Carnegie, he personalized his shed by adding a few Tampa Bay Buccaneers posters. He has lights set up so he can enjoy reading his favorite Tom Clancy novels.

The sheds are embraced, but not applauded by some homeless advocacy groups. Michael Stoops, executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless in Washington, D.C., said that he's approached several times a year by architectural design majors looking for the group's endorsement.

"Each one comes up with a low-cost design housing model that resembles a dog house for homeless people and they hope my endorsement will lend clout to their model," he said.

"The first thing I ask them is, 'Would you like to live here?' " Stoops said. The answer is usually no.

Stoops said the long-term solution still has to focus on finding permanent housing for people. "But, when 44 percent of the nation's homeless are not sheltered, this is much better than a tent but not as good as a home," he said.

BY THE NUMBERS

Pinellas Hope

Pinellas Hope statistics, as of November:

79 percent of residents are male

45 percent of residents are between the ages of 41
and 50

80 percent of residents are white

14
percent are veterans

40 percent of the residents will live in sheds in
the next year, if fundraising permits

Pinellas Hope adds 10 sheds to its homeless camp 02/03/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 3, 2009 9:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Video: Heroic Hooters manager helps two sheriff's deputies subdue unruly customer

    Crime

    BRANDON — The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office praised a heroic Hooters Restaurant manager Wednesday for coming to the aid of two deputies struggling to subdue an unruly customer.

    It took two deputies and a Hooter's manager to get control of Ashton B. Toney after he threatened to kill an employee who refused to serve him alcohol at a Hooter's in Brandon, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office reported.
[Booking photo from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  2. Editorial: Turn the heat up on AC problem in Hillsborough schools

    Editorials

    Hillsborough County School District students do not want to hear that their buildings are decrepit. They do not want to hear that Florida's legislators are complicit. All they want to hear is the sweet sound of a classroom air conditioner kicking in at full power. Anything less creates uncomfortably hot classrooms and …

    Superintendent Jeff Eakins and the current Hillsborough County School Board did not create this air conditioning mess, but they own it now.
  3. Man in bunny mask part of trio that breaks into Odessa McDonald's to haul away ATM

    Crime

    ODESSA — A man in a bunny mask and two also-masked accomplices broke into a McDonald's early Wednesday, hoisted an automatic teller machine into a stolen minivan, then dumped the ATM and the van into a pond, deputies say.

    Three masked men, including one in a bunny mask, broke into an Odessa McDonald's early Wednesday and stole the ATM.
 [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Plan your weekend Aug. 25-27: Craig Morgan, Wearable Art 13, SNL's Pete Davidson, Rodeo Fest

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    USF

    Pete Davidson: Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson will headline this year's University of South Florida Round-Up Comedy Show, a back-to-school tradition at USF. Expect to hear about his recent trip to rehab, since he's known for his confessional …

    The 12th annual Wearable art Fashion Show was held at the Dunedin Fine Art Center on Saturday evening, August 27, 2016.
DAVID W DOONAN | Special To The Times
  5. Richard Corcoran takes aim at public financing of campaigns

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, may not be running for governor — not yet anyway — but his latest idea will get the attention of those who are.

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O' Lakes, is proposing an end to public financing of campaigns. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]