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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EIN 65-0523539
(727)825-0442
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Community Reviews

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  

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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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Daystar is a wonderful place staffed mostly with dedicated volunteers, resulting in 95% of the contributions given going to help those in need. This was very important to me when I was looking for a way to "give back to the community" after retiring. It is a very rewarding experience when you can truly help others. Jane Walker the director and Linda, are extremely hard working and do an amazing job!

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

helping people get qualified for food stamps, keeping water and lights on for families who would have had them shut off that day. helping a mother and daughter get back home after the mother suffered abuse and many other people who needed food & clothing

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

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

Seeing the relief and gratitude from people who really didn't know what they were going to do to get through to the next job.

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

Absolutely wonderful, caring, dedicated, giving people.

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

Make a difference to so many more people. With the economy now, there are so many more and as the population ages, there will be many more elderly in need.

Ways to make it better...

there were more resources available to help.

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

fund raising

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

I am humbled by my experience at Daystar. It's great to make a difference.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Role: Volunteer
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

For 14 years I have been a donor and volunteer at this amazing organization that impacts the lives of more than 20,000 people a year by providing a myriad group of essential services for those in emergency need. The services include food distribution,clothing,rent aid andutility bill help,transportation assistance and mail service for more than 900 pedple. Daystar applies $.95 of every dollar recieved to client services according to last CPA audit.

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

helping reunite a family through TRAVELERS AID by furnishing bus fare from Florida to Illinois to a wayward son.

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

Seeing the relief on the face of desperate people after giving them help.

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

nonparell in kindness and spirit.

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

Do ten tines as much good - the need in Pinellas County is vast.

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  

2 people found this review helpful

Filled with gratitude, I have always wanted to "give back" to others. When I retired and found Daystar, I was impressed first with the very high percentage (95%) of contributions going back to the community. In selecting a non-profit to work with, it was a high priority to me, that I wasn't supporting a costly bureaucratic network at the expense of services to the needy. As an interviewer at Daystar, I meet people in all kinds of emergency situations and I am thrilled to be the face of Daystar, able to "make a difference" and see the impact right there in front of my eyes. I see the thanks in the face of the 80 yr old gentleman who won't receive his SS for another week and needs food to make it through a few more days and I refer him to the Sunshine Center or other places providing key services to Seniors that he never knew about. I see faces light up receiving a new dress or clean socks or shoes with soles intact. After helping with their electric bill to keep it on through the holiday, I see their relief and get a hug from the grandmother or aunt raising 3 children from their extended family, whose parents are in jail or out of the picture. We help the unemployed and ex-offenders get identification needed to get a job; we help children to get birth certificates for school or Medicaid; we help the displaced to get home to family willing to help them get back on their feet. And more, much more. Among the volunteers, there is a great hopeful spirit and camaraderie, which is imparted to our clients, who are treated with kindness and respect. With only 1 % of the budget spent on fund-raising, we need all the "free" publicity we can get....so thank you for this opportunity to make potential donors and volunteers aware of this wonderful organization. I'd give Daystar 10 STARS if I could!

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

the gratification I receive in helping the needy and in feeling that the difference we make is not fleeting. I believe we make a positive difference that actually changes the lives of those we serve.

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

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

the response of those we serve: The smiles, hugs, sincere thanks, the tears of relief.

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

of the most highly professional and dedicated and kind.

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

We reach out to the poverty-striken, low-income people from all segments of society, including the elderly, families with children, disabled, working poor and homeless, un-employed and under-employed. Their numbers keep rising;; our budget is tight.

Ways to make it better...

we had more resources available to help those in need. We need back packs for the homeless; grants to help families with utilities; help with the costs of identification....the needs are many and it's hard to interview and say "that's all I can do today"

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

fund-raising or friend-raising on a tight budget.

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

this organization has changed MY life.

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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