Daystar Life Center Inc

Rating: 4.93 stars   14 reviews

Issues: Food, Homeless & Housing, Human Services

Location: 226 - 6th Street South St. Petersburg FL 33701 USA

Mission: Daystar Life Center, Inc.''s provides our neighbors in need with basic necessities in times of hardship and in our ever changing community. We do this by providing services and advocacy with compassion, volunteers, donations and charitable support.
Results: During the last fiscal year, nearly 50,000 clients avoided hunger, homelessness and hopelessness, at least temporarily, because of Daystar. 13,734 clients avoided hunger and enjoyed nutritious meals; 154 clients used gas vouchers so that a mom or dad could go to work or visit a sick child in the hospital; 1156 clients used daily bus tokens to go for a job interview or keep a medical appointment; 11,986 clients avoided health issues because they had dry socks, a change of underwear, a change of clothes, or a jacket during cold weather; 1,596 clients were able to cook a meal or stay warm and wash dishes because their electricity or water was not turned off; 75 clients were able to remain in their apartments because they received rent assistance; 671 clients were able to take showers because their water was not turned off; 6,130 clients were able to brush their teeth, wash their hair, or wash themselves because they received personal hygiene items; 301 clients were able to travel to a safe haven at a friend or relative’s home because they received Travelers Aid; 106 clients were able to live healthier lives because they received prescription medication assistance; 2,909 clients were able to apply for jobs, housing, or social security because they received assistance for a state-issued identification card. Another 1400 people had a safe place to receive mail because of Daystar’s secure mail service.
Geographic areas served: Pinellas County, Florida
Programs: Daystar Life Center, Inc. provides the following services to neighbors in need: -Food Pantry-Local transportation (bus tokens,daily/weekly passes, GPTMS)-Rent assistance-Power, gas and water utility assistance-Financial assistance to obtain Florida IDs, including birth certificates -Internet Project ACCESS Gold Member (clients apply on-site for public benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid and TANF)-USDA Food Distribution to two low-income housing units serving 200 clients per month.-Traveler's Aid (sole source for Pinellas County-Confidential mail boxes for 1400+ clients, RX assistance-Clothes Closet-Personal hygiene products-Holiday food baskets-Information/referrals for other services. Daystar serves on average 100 clients per day,clients usually receive more than one service per visit. All services are provided by a committed corps of trained volunteers who literally do every job, allowing Daystar to maintain a very limited staff: two full-time, two grant-funded and two part-time.

2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Daystar is a great organization. The charity helps struggling families in their darkest hours. Many good people come across hard times and Daystar has been the glue that has keeped many families off the streets. Without Daystar many good families would not still be together.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

No

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

There are many charitable organizations that provide many meaningful and needed services and Daystar is one of the very best. It is an organization that provides for the basic necessities for those in need and does this with compassion and humanity. Daystar is interested in one thing, serving those in need, and at this, it does a wonderful job. Daystar provides food for the hungry, clothing for those in need and even mail services for those who have no stable addresses. The number of employed staff is very low while the number of volunteers and volunteer hours are high. This allows the organization to spend the vast majority of its funds on services to those in need. Daystar is a model organization.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Whenever I attend a client interview or see directly services being provided, it always makes me feel happy and proud that in some small way, I have been able to contribute.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Provide more services to more people.

Ways to make it better...

I wish I had more time to help additionally.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Continued charitable contributions in a poor economy while the needs for services increase.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

Over the years I have referred numerous clients to Daystar for assistance with utilities, food, clothing, Travelers Aid, prescriptions and other essential needs. They treat everyone I refer with dignity and respect and usually find a way to assist them with their needs. Jane and her volunteers are wonderful to work with and I cannot say enough about their compassion and willingness to serve the most needy in our community. They are a wonderful organization.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

The staff and volunteers at Daystar are wonderful to work with-some of the most caring and compassionate people I have ever known. Jane and her volunteers are super!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

Volunteer for 13 years. Developed computer system used by Daystar. Presently yhe IT person. In the past have interviewed, ran errands, did minor maintenance. Daystar sees an average of 85 clients per day. Clients are treated with respect and helped with necessities if at all possible.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

observing and recording client visits

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the feeling of contributing & giving back for a blessed life.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

capable, spiritual, caring people

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

use 95% of it to aid the needy in our community

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I have been associated with Daystar Life Center almost ten years. This agency has continued to grow and challenge the citizens of Pinellas County Florida in every imaginable way possible. If something needs to be done that will help the disenfranchised, especially if no one else will do it, Daystar Life Center will find a way to get it done. To quote the Director, Jane Walker "Many hands and hearts participate in providing the myriad essential services our neighbors in need receive from us. No gift of time or money-in kind donations or prayer is too small to make a difference in our efforts to take care of those in our community unable to care foe themselves." In the years that I have served with Daystar Life Center it has been a privilege to be actively engaged in data input, client registration, pantry work, client interviewing and the responsibilities of being a member of the board of directors. I am currently a volunteer and reamin a volunteer because I firmly believe in assisting the needy and that they are helped best in two ways. One way is with a hands on approach by way of direct service and the second way is working with others for systemic change and improvements in our communities. These are goals that can be achieved by me in my association with Daystar Life Center.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The many ways individuals are assisted above and beyond the usual demands. When giving financial assistance to clients we the volunteers are told to follow the criteria as a guide while seeking the best result.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Individuals receive unusual compassion. On a weekly basis Hospice caregivers come by to pick up clients weekly food needs.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Cooperative, hard working and there for the poor and the needy.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Begin to tackle some of the needs in "the biggest challenges facing the organization" box.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I have known Daystar Life Center since the early 90's when I managed the CDBG funds that helped expand its facility in downtown St. Petersburg. More recently, as a volunteer for the Pinellas County Coalition for the Homeless I have been obtaining and managing state funds allocated to Daystar for their homeless programs. I know of no other agency that has done more for the homeless with fewer resources than any other agency around. Jane Walker is a Saint.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

monitoring a reporting on Daystar;s use of state funding in helping the homeless (bus passes, Photo IDs and emergency assistance).

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to get them more money.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working with the Executive Director - Jane Walker.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated, professional and selfless.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

end homelessness.

Ways to make it better...

I didn't have to make them spend time writing monthly reports instead of doing what they do.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

increasing homelessness.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Daystar in unparalleled.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I volunteered as a grantwriter for Daystar Life Center more than a year ago (until I went to work fulltime). I was amazed and impressed by the dedication of the volunteers there. I still see them occasionally at other events. To a person, they are kind, caring and faith driven to make a difference in the lives of the poorest of the poor. Daystar does a great job of thanking its volunteers, of caring for them as people. Otherwise, they would not keep coming back. Both volunteers and staff are extremely frugal, using both sides of paper, turning out lights, etc. to stretch every penny as far as it will go. Clients are generally very respectful and appreciative of volunteer and staff efforts. Tucked away, almost under the interstate, few are likely aware of Daystar's existence. Any way of shining a light on its efforts to provide food, ids, bicycle locks, referrals to medical care, a mail center, etc. for St. Petersburg's forgotten and unwanted would be well-deserved.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Jane's efforts to operate as caring individuals rather than as a business. She starts every day with prayers which volunteers may or need not join. This is not imposed on clients in any way.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

caring and dedicated. Many are snowbirds who return year after year. They know one another's families and provide support for each other as well as for the clients.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

It's amazing to me that an organization like this can operate with only two paid staff members, and yet serve 20,000 people-in-need during the course of a year. Folks who come to Daystar for assistance are given individual, personal attention - one on one with an interviewer - who listen to their stories and provides a huge variety of services: food, clothing, help in securing birth certificates, i.d. cards, prescriptions, transportation to the doctors and to new jobs, diapers, personal hygiene items and on and on. This role is filled by about 200 volunteers who, in addition to interviewing, also do data entry, stack shelves with food, clothing and any other chore that needs to be done. As an interviewer, I have been deeply touched sometimes when hearing the difficulties that some of our clients are facing. One young man came to us from a treatment center because he needed an i.d. In talking with him he also confided in me that he was a 'cutter' and estranged from his family. Another man was taking care of his brother's six children while the brother was in prison. You cannot do this job without having your heart touched. Daystar provides so much to so many and the blessings flow each way. The community of St. Petersburg is truly blessed to have Daystar available to its citizens.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

knowing that I am fulfilling a need; and that in giving of my time and talent I have been blessed.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the variety of services that can be provided and the tireless efforts of Jane Walker to ensure that the organization operates so smoothly.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

the best! Both Jane and Linda are always available to answer questions about how best to service our clients' specific needs. The volunteers who I work with are bright, cheerful, giving individuals - and we have fun!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

rosemarie and I have beed volunteering here every winter for 21 years doing anything asked such as computer input,interviewing,assist in clothing rooms,bag food bags,and encouraging our friends to assist in person and monitarily.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

having been part of an even greater need to assist the needy fromserving a few thousand to over 14,000 a year.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get larger facilities

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Seeing and being part of helping the many families from slipping through the cracks of life .

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Most caring and above all willing to take the time day after day to lift families out a meaningless existence to getting their feet once gain on the road to recovery.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Our board would set aside a good portion to a special fund to better asist the many who need monies far and above our present budge can afford.

Ways to make it better...

if we could be here in thesummers to assist.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

getting younger peole involved and to make the public more aware of the tremendous work that this Daystar does daily.

One thing I'd also say is that...

All but about 5% goes to our needy people.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I am so impressed with a nonprofit that sticks so closely to it's mission and does it with 2 paid staff and the rest volunteers. About 95 cents of every dollar goes to services. I am excited to be a part of this great organization.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The committment of the staff and volunteers shows everywhere. I also feel that clients are treated with dignity, respect and a smile.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

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