The Well for Life has been selected as the lead nonprofit for a federally funded project in St. Petersburg to create community centers providing therapy and other resources for trauma survivors.
Last year, St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch announced his plans to use federal funding to create “community one-stop shops” that would provide resources such as counseling, access to case workers and outreach for residents.
The city received federal funding through the American Rescue Plan Act, and it gave $8.58 million to the Pinellas Community Foundation to start “Community Support Hubs” to provide these services, according to a news release from the city on Friday. The project aims to launch its first hub this year.
The foundation began its search for a lead nonprofit and selected The Well, a healing and wellness space focused on the needs of communities of color.
“No one knows a community better than those within the community itself,” LaDonna Butler, a licensed mental health counselor and co-founder of The Well, said in Friday’s news release. “In order to move toward a healthier future, we need to prioritize and sustain community-led spaces where people can come together to provide and receive services, or connect with one another. These vital sources of belonging promote overall mental health and wellness, particularly for communities of color.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to engage in this important work in partnership with the City and other stakeholders who are responsive to and care deeply about the well-being of our residents. Our stories matter, our strategies work, and we are worthy of investment.”
Local nonprofits Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services People Empowering and Restoring Communities will partner with The Well to launch the project.
“PCF (Pinellas Community Foundation) is thankful for the opportunity to be a champion for this innovative project. The team of organizations involved is already making a significant difference in the community, and we are excited to witness the positive impact they will have in St. Pete,” Duggan Cooley, CEO of the Pinellas Community Foundation, said in the release.
Welch announced that The Well had been selected as the lead nonprofit for the project during The Well’s Healing While Black Conference this week.
“In recognition of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s critical that we empower those who intimately understand the community that we’re trying to positively impact,” he said in the release. “I’m excited to see the impact that Dr. LaDonna Butler and her team at The Well will make on St. Pete in the coming years. With Neighborhood Health and Safety as a major priority, St. Pete’s Community Support Hubs will be a key point of progress.”
Those involved in the project will conduct listening sessions to gather feedback from the community about how they hope the hubs will function. The Pinellas Community Foundation is also going to launch an application process to select an organization that can provide administrative support to the community hubs and other nonprofits. Local leaders are hoping to fully execute the project by 2026.