Pinellas County's Guardian Ad Litem program will soon begin training volunteers to act as the courtroom voice for children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect.
Guardian ad Litem volunteers visit the child once a month, become familiar with his or her case and make recommendations to help ensure the child has a safe, caring and stable environment. The average time needed is four to six hours a month.
Thirty hours of training are required, and guardians receive ongoing assistance. The next class starts Feb. 16 at Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg.
To volunteer and arrange to attend a one hour orientation, call (727) 464-6528. For more information, a training schedule and an application go to www.guardianadlitem6.org .
Affordable housing, services at Goodwill
Did you know Goodwill offers affordable living options for people with low incomes, including seniors and people with disabilities?
Goodwill's Freedom Villages, in Tampa, Pinellas Park and Clearwater, offer one- and two-bedroom apartments. Heritage Oaks in Palm Harbor offers one-bedroom apartments for people 62 and older with low incomes.
All four properties feature well-maintained buildings with community rooms and common areas. On-site Goodwill service coordinators at each facility help residents connect with community resources and services.
The HUD-subsidized apartment buildings, owned and operated by Goodwill Industries-Suncoast, are architecturally barrier-free to accommodate the needs of people with physical disabilities.
There are often waiting lists for these apartments. Prospective residents should call the property in which they are interested to check availability or to be put on a waiting list. The four Goodwill apartment communities are:
-ÊFreedom Village I, 7700 66th St. N, Pinellas Park, (727) 541-6620
-ÊFreedom Village II, 5002 S Bridge St., Tampa, (813) 831-6988
-ÊFreedom Village III, 1167 Turner St., Clearwater, (727) 443-6799
-ÊHeritage Oaks of Palm Harbor, 2351 Alderman Road, Palm Harbor, (727) 787-0792
For general information about Goodwill apartments, visit the Housing page at www.goodwill-suncoast.com.
Parent Aide Program seeks volunteers
You can assist parents who are seeking help
The Parent Aide Program needs volunteers to help those who are looking to become better parents.
Aides spend one to two hours each week mentoring a parent.
For more information, call Kerri Pedersen at 399-5744, ext. 168, or visit www.HelpAChild.org.
Team ready to help spay and neuter pets
February is spay/neuter month.
SPOT (Stop Pet Overpopulation Together) is teaming up with local veterinarians in Pinellas County to offer low-cost spay/neuter for cats and dogs.
Any cat or dog at least 8 weeks old can be signed up. Special "neuterathon" prices: male cats $35, female cats $40, male dogs $40 and female dogs $45-$90 depending on weight.
SPOT offers low-cost spay/neuter vouchers available online at www.SPOTusa.org or call (727) 545-3463 for more information.
Are you good at negotiating?
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program administered by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs is seeking men and women of all professional and cultural backgrounds who have concerns of residents' rights and are good at negotiating and advocating.
Mileage and meal reimbursements are provided at the state rate for all official ombudsman duties.
Call 588-6912 or toll-free 1-888-831-0404 to apply for the next training class.
BOWser Games needs dogs, owners, vendors
The Pinellas Animal Foundation's sixth annual BOWser Games is looking for vendors (nonfood), artisans and crafters to participate in the Feb. 9 event.
The games are a celebration of the human/animal bond where dogs and their owners can enjoy agility and disc demonstrations, participate in fun contests and much more. For information or an application, call 347-7387.
Got a questionfor a judge?
The People's Law School will continue weekly at the Drew Street campus of St. Petersburg College on Thursdays through April. Participants may attend as few or as many sessions as they wish, free of charge.
No registration is required. For information, call (727) 461-4869 or visit www.clearwaterbar.org.
The remaining class schedule includes:
- Thursday, 7 to 7:55 p.m., Condominium Law; 8:05 to 9 p.m., Landlord Tenant Law.
- Feb. 14, 7 to 7:55 p.m., Purchasing Real Estate; 8:05 to 9 p.m. Mortgages.
- Feb. 21, 7 to 9 p.m., To be announced.
- Feb. 28, 7 to 7:55 p.m., Construction Contracts; 8:05 to 9 p.m., Mechanic's Liens.
- March 6, 7 to 7:55 p.m., Consumer Complaints; 8:05 to 9 p.m., Mediation & Arbitration.
- March 13, 7 to 9 p.m., Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning.
- March 20, No class. Spring Break.
- March 27, 7 to 7:55 p.m., State of Our Circuit; 8:05 to 9 p.m., Small Claims.
- April 3, 7 to 9 p.m., Family Law.
- April 10, 7 to 9 p.m., Bankruptcy.