Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater neighbors don't want WorkNet location

CLEARWATER — An employment agency wants to set up shop in the East Gateway district near downtown, but neighbors are against it. They don't want more unemployed people congregating in an area that already has a homeless shelter and a soup kitchen.

That's the conundrum facing Clearwater's Community Development Board today. The board must decide whether to allow WorkNet Pinellas, a career training center, to move into a vacant building at 1315 Cleveland St. The building has sat empty since a fire damaged it in June 2009.

The development board is deciding the matter because there are questions about whether WorkNet's relocation to this spot would fit Clearwater's plans for the neighborhood. The city's East Gateway development plan discourages more social service agencies from locating there because several already operate in the district.

East Gateway community members have worked for years to revitalize the neighborhood east of downtown, which houses a number of cheap motels and day labor businesses. They complain that the nearby CHIP homeless shelter and the St. Vincent de Paul soup kitchen attract vagrants. "You're bringing people that are unemployed to this area," property owner Gilbert Jannelli said at a previous zoning hearing.

However, the building's owner, Nila Shah, said Monday that the building currently attracts homeless people because it's empty. "We find sleeping bags and empty beer bottles," she said.

WorkNet says the new office would not attract loitering vagrants. The services to be offered there, such as resume writing classes and career counseling, would be "invitation only," said WorkNet official Michele Pineda.

WorkNet provides job training to the unemployed and attempts to hook up job seekers with employers. It has five locations around Pinellas County.

City officials are recommending that the board approve WorkNet's relocation.

Mike Brassfield can be reached at brassfield@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4160.

.Fast facts

If you go

The Clearwater Community Development Board will consider WorkNet's request at its meeting at 1 p.m. today in Clearwater City Hall, 112 S Osceola Ave. The meeting is open to the public.

Clearwater neighbors don't want WorkNet location 02/14/11 [Last modified: Monday, February 14, 2011 11:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Q&A: A business leader and historian jointly delve into Tampa's waterfront

    Business

    TAMPA — As a native of Tampa, Arthur Savage has always had a passion for his hometown's history. And as a third-generation owner and operator of A.R. Savage & Son, a Tampa-based shipping agency, his affinity for his hometown also extends to its local waterways.

    Arthur Savage (left) and Rodney Kite-Powell, co-authors of "Tampa Bay's Waterfront: Its History and Development," stand for a portrait with the bust of James McKay Sr. in downtown Tampa on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. McKay, who passed away in 1876, was a prominent businessman, among other things, in the Tampa area. He was Arthur Savage's great great grandfather. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. 25 things to remember on the 25th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew

    Hurricanes

    Twenty-five years ago today, Andrew was born.

    Aerial of a mobile home community in the Homestead area, destroyed by Hurricane Andrew. [Times (1992)]
  3. Tampa's connected-vehicle program looking for volunteers

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Drivers on the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway can save on their monthly toll bill by volunteering to test new technology that will warn them about potential crashes and traffic jams.

    A rendering shows how new technology available through the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority will warn driver's about crashes, traffic jams, speed decreases and more. THEA is seeking 1,600 volunteers to install the devices, which will display alerts in their review mirrors, as part of an 18-month connected-vehicle pilot.
  4. What you need to know for Thursday, Aug. 17

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    A rendering of what a football stadium at the University of South Florida could look like. The university's board of trustees will again discuss the possibility of bringing the Bulls back to campus. [Courtesy of USF]
  5. Hernando commission to seek state audit of sheriff's spending

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — The politically volatile idea of using a separate taxing district to fund Sheriff Al Nienhuis' budget is once again off the table.

    OCTAVIO JONES   |   TimesTo clear up questions about the way Sheriff Al Nienhuis accounts for his agency's money,  county commissioners have asked for a formal audit through the state Auditor General's Office.