Tuesday, November 21, 2017
News Roundup

New ads boast of Florida's good fortunes — and homelessness problem

RECOMMENDED READING


In the final days of a tough primary campaign for the Pinellas congressional seat, state Rep. Kathleen Peters is debuting a series of provocative ads meant to raise awareness about Florida's homeless population.

The ads, the result of a collaboration among Peters, Pinellas County's Homeless Leadership Board, and undergraduates at the Art Institute of Tampa, display calming pictures of beach sunsets and golf courses familiar to anyone who's ever seen a commercial for a Florida vacation package. Then comes the wording, and a bold reminder that all is not perfect in the Sunshine State.

"Florida has more golf courses than any other state and over 2,100 homeless seniors 60+" reads one of the public service announcements.

Says another: "Florida has more than 370,000 hotel rooms and just over 38,000 beds for the homeless."

The state's homeless population totals 93,000, according to one ad. Other highlighted facts include Florida's number of homeless veterans (4,900) and the reality that many of its indigent are families with children.

Peters' aide Eired Jackson said the PSAs are intended to make Floridians think differently about their state's homeless population. Each ad ends with the phrase "Who Knew?" and a direction to the viewer to visit aTrueFace.org, where more of the students' work is posted.

"Basically, they're not looking for money, they're just looking for people to become aware and to change behaviors," she said, adding that she hopes the campaign will encourage people to donate food or money to homeless shelters rather than feeding people in parks or giving them spare change.

Pinellas County's largest homeless shelter, Safe Harbor, opened in 2011 and has been widely praised for keeping several hundred people off of the streets each night. But its funding has remained a constant source of tension. Most of the shelter's funding comes from the Sheriff's Office, which has called on cities in Pinellas, many of which send homeless people to Safe Harbor, to contribute more. Donations from private citizens are few and far between.

The ads won't appear on billboards or TV until early spring, when they are expected to run on donated space and airtime, Jackson said. Until then, Peters' office plans to promote them on social media.

Anna M. Phillips can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8779.

 
Comments
A new threat this shopping season: toys that can spy on kids

A new threat this shopping season: toys that can spy on kids

ST. PETERSBURG — Not all sinister toys are as obvious as a Chucky doll. Many present more subtle threats — choking hazards, high lead content, privacy concerns. And as the biggest shopping season of the year kicks off, consumer advocates are urging s...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
LINEBACKER CORPS IS A FORCE FOR CCC

LINEBACKER CORPS IS A FORCE FOR CCC

CLEARWATERFrom Colin McCarthy (Miami/Tennessee Titans) to Caanan Brown (Virginia) to Conner Dorris (Navy), a Clearwater Central Catholic defensive staple has been star quality at linebacker. Think Marauders, think linebackers. It has been a cornersto...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Bucs linemen hand out Thanksgiving dinner to 1,000 families in drive-through event

Bucs linemen hand out Thanksgiving dinner to 1,000 families in drive-through event

TAMPA — The smiles started with hundreds of moms, dads and kids as they arrived at One Bucs Place, but it wasn’t long before the giant men in red were beaming, too."This is the first time I have gotten a Thanksgiving meal like this," said Melissa Mob...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Jones: Maybe the Florida job isn’t as good as we thought

Jones: Maybe the Florida job isn’t as good as we thought

These are strange, unsettling times for the University of Florida.The Gators need themselves a football coach.They offer a terrific job. Maybe one of the best jobs in the country.Right?Uh, right? (nervous laugh)Well, we’ll soon find out. Maybe this i...
Updated: 28 minutes ago

Police chase that ended in Tampa I-4 crash started with theft of DCF car in Lakeland

TAMPA — A police chase that ended in a crash on Interstate 4 started with the theft of a car from the Department of Children and Families in Lakeland by a teenager in the department’s custody, authorities said.Leslie Diaz, 16, Justin Amos, 17, and Du...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
‘Roman J. Israel, Esq.’ is a sad waste of Denzel Washington

‘Roman J. Israel, Esq.’ is a sad waste of Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington’s labored portrayal of a shambling legal savant named Roman J. Israel, Esq. is the least of the movie’s worries. This is a story of shifting ethics that should be dramatic, but shaky logic prevents that from happening.Dan Gilroy’s f...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning-Blackhawks: Tampa Bay is killing it on penalty-killers

Lightning-Blackhawks: Tampa Bay is killing it on penalty-killers

BRANDON — A successful penalty kill begins long before the offending Lightning player, whistled two minutes earlier for some infraction, leaves the box with the score unchanged.It begins with a detailed scouting report of the opposing team’s power pl...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Life in prison, not death, for Adam Matos, Pasco jury decides

Life in prison, not death, for Adam Matos, Pasco jury decides

NEW PORT RICHEY — The 12 men and women on Adam Matos’ jury were chosen from a pool of nearly 300 people in part for their responses to a single question: Could you condemn a stranger to death for a crime?On Tuesday, the panel said "no" four times, re...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Report: Pepin Academies director had alcohol in his system at time of fatal boating accident

Report: Pepin Academies director had alcohol in his system at time of fatal boating accident

CLEARWATER — The former Pepin Academies executive director who died in a watercraft and boat collision on Sept. 23 had a blood-alcohol level nearly twice the level at which the state presumes someone is impaired, a toxicology report showed. Just befo...
Updated: 2 hours ago