TAMPA, Fla. -- In the same time the Bible says it took God to create the heavens and Earth, Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg and the City of Tampa have have built a tent city complex for homeless to shelter from coronavirus.
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“Let’s do 100 tents," Maggie Rogers, Executive Director of Catholic Charities, said. “Just through that number out there and here we are 7 days later. Who says you can’t build a shelter in 7 days. Catholic Charities certainly can and so here we are.”
The city provided more than $120,000 to the four charitable groups to create the “Hillsborough Hope” tent city, complete with mobile showers, portable bathrooms, a mobile laundromat, and three meals a day.
Although there are an estimated 1,600 homeless people in Hillsborough County, Rogers says, even providing 100 people shelter helps.
“Well especially now when we’re asked to stay at home to be safe,” Rogers said. “There’s a large population that don’t have a home to go to and they’re not safe. And as businesses are closing their resources are diminishing.”
For people like Salih Spann, the tent city is a godsend.
“I’m able to be fed and have access to showers at this time,” Spann said. “It’s really hard to get that kind of stuff.”