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“God moved us to provide services for the homeless in our community,” said Kathy Hunt. “We want to provide a hand up, not a hand out. We personally learned many years ago that the more you give away, the more you are blessed.”
This vision took Kathy, a top amateur golfer and finalist in the 2003 West Coast Women’s Championship, out of retirement, off the golf course and feet first into the non-profit world. After finding a repossessed building where Old San Ann Road meets Fort King Road, the transformation began. The building was in serious disrepair. It had only one window, making it feel like a tomb. The AC didn’t work, and mold pocked some of the walls. Then the first of many miracles began.
Simpson Environmental mitigated the mold. Larkin Construction brought the building up to code and made it habitable, adding four windows for better natural lighting and a kitchenette in the back. Sonny’s Appliances donated a refrigerator and saved them thousands on the air conditioning. All went above and beyond their initial bids, donating thousands of dollars in time and materials to bring Restored Hope to life. Then the Hunts talked Penny Morrill, former executive director of the Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Center, out of retirement and onto the staff as their Community Liaison. Restored Hope’s Board was built with community leaders like Dade City Mayor Camille Hernandez and Reverend Chris Bayers of the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church. Kathy serves as interim Executive Director and President of the Board.
Restored Hope is a faith-based, crisis-relief organization that encourages cooperation between churches, humanitarian organizations and businesses to empower and provide resources to the disabled, elderly and impoverished in East Pasco County and surrounding areas. The goal is not to duplicate services offered by other non-profits, but rather to fill in the gaps needed to help the homeless and at-risk.
According to the Coalition of the Homeless of Pasco County, 3,305 people are homeless in our community on any given day. Typically, 105 people are housed in shelters, and more than 3,200 were unsheltered. That doesn’t include those living with relatives and friends in multi-family households. Two years ago, the County’s homeless tally of nearly one percent of the population was the highest per capita rate in Florida. Restored Hope will be working with sister non-profits like the Coalition of the Homeless and Metropolitan Ministries to offer hope and healing for East Pasco County’s homeless and empower them to ultimately become self sufficient.
Restored Hope will provide case management, laundry services, portable showers, picture IDs for employment, budgeting, parenting and life skills classes, interview clothing and job interview training, and hygiene items. It has a computer dedicated to ACCESS Florida where people can apply for food and medical assistance. Pasco Sheriff Nocco also named Restored Hope a distribution center for his annual holiday food drive.
Restored Hope is now accepting donations of hygiene products, career clothing (particularly larger sizes), hangers, paper towels, toilet paper, paper and office supplies, and volunteer support. To learn more, you can call Restored Hope at (352) 437-4815 or contact Kathy Hunt at (716) 228-1004 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With over 3000 homeless families and unsheltered in Pasco County there has never been a time of greater need.