ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — St. Petersburg's leading homeless and food service center has just completed a multi-million dollar renovation.

What You Need To Know

  • Kitchen gets $1.2 million state-of-the-art makeover 

  • Renovation made possible by the late Frank Wagner

  • Shelter makes 900 meals daily for the needy 

On Thursday, officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the grand re-opening of the St. Vincent de Paul CARES’ kitchen. It marked the latest in a long history of transitions for the old building.

“Originally it was the Florida Osteopathic Hospital,” said St. Vincent CEO Michale Raposa. “It became a doctor’s hospital in through the 80’s. It was the city’s AIDS hospital where most of the folks came.”  

But even after St. Vincent bought the building in 2000 and turned it into a homeless shelter, the kitchen remained untouched until a surprise gift from a generous, longtime volunteer named Frank Wagner.

“Unbeknownst to us when he passed away about a year and a half ago, we received word from his estate that he had left us the money with the simple instructions which was to fix up the kitchen," said Raposa. "And it was about a $1.2 million renovation that we have done."