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Ted Howells, 53, a champion for the homeless in Pinellas

Published Oct. 16, 2005

Ted Howells, who gave a home to homeless men, died Sunday (Feb. 11, 1990) at Humana Hospital-Sun Bay after a heart attack. He was 53. Mr. Howells, who had a history of heart trouble, was hospitalized during the weekend with chest pains, his son, Tony, 18, said Monday.

For more than a year, Mr. Howells operated Miracle House, one of the emergency shelters that serves homeless people in Pinellas County.

Financial support came from little more than Mr. Howells' $395 monthly Social Security check. Miracle House was first at 1915 10th St. S and more recently at 1821 10th St. S. A lack of rent money is forcing still another move.

Tony Howells said he and Jay Endsley, 31, a former resident who had been working at Miracle House, plan to continue the agency beginning today, at 800 Ninth Ave. S. He said he hopes something will turn up in the next few days to pay the rent.

Mr. Howells, who was born in Scranton, Pa., came here from Charlotte, N.C. He and his wife, Etta, ran a homeless shelter in Charlotte for about 10 years. After his wife died, Mr. Howells and his son moved several years ago to St. Petersburg.

Severe chest pains soon put Mr. Howells in the hospital.

"Between the hotel bills and the hospital bills, we became homeless ourselves," Mr. Howell recalled in an interview last year.

For a while, Mr. Howells operated Free House, a shelter at 1881 18th Ave. S. He later closed Free House and opened Miracle House in August 1988.

"I love people, and somebody has to do this kind of work," Mr. Howells said.

Survivors in addition to his son include a daughter, Tina Howells,

Charlotte; and a brother, Robert, Charlotte.

American Burial & Cremation Service, Dunedin, is in charge of arrangements.

- Some of the information in this obituary came from a story by Susan Eastman in the St. Petersburg Times.