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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Homeless Empowerment Program (HEP)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Homeless Shelters, Human Services

Mission: HEP is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Since 1986, our Mission has been to provide homeless and very low-income individuals and families with housing, food, clothing and support services necessary to obtain self-sufficiency and improved quality of life.

Results: In 2017, HEP served 1,204 people, including 127 children and 504 veterans. In our state-of-the-art kitchen and dining hall, we served 114,00 nutritious meals. There were 30 children enrolled in HEP's Children's Learning Center after school and summer camp programs. The HEP Dental Clinic provided an astonishing 6,132 procedures valued at $749,520. Through a strategic community partnership with the Morton Plant Outreach Team (MPOT), we saved the community $4,165,365 in avoided emergency room visits and ambulance calls.

Target demographics: homeless and very low-income individuals, families and Veterans.

Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2017, we served 1,204 people, including 127 children and 504 Veterans.

Geographic areas served: Clearwater, Florida

Programs: Food, shelter, clothing, transportation, individualized case management, dental, medical and mental health care; job training, financial and legal services, literacy courses, drug and alcohol services, and more!

Community Stories

90 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with the HEP kitchen and thrift store beginning in Sept 2017. This organization puts clients first. You can tell the message is "service first" with no worries that executive leadership is profiteering. All actions and focus are put towards helping those in need. There is a feeling of a "Community helping the community" when you speak with employees and other volunteers. I will be continuing my service with HEP indefinitely while recommending others join in the fight!

readbnch

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have voulunteered working in the kitchen serving lunch for about 5 years. I enjoy helping and contributing in a small way to help those less fortunate. HEP serves wonderful nutritious meals to its clientele and treats everyone with respect.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Through my church I worked with two ladies who through a series of circumstances beyond their control had been homeless for over 3 years. HEP was able to provide them with an air conditioned room, access to free medical and dental facilities, three nutritious meals a day, counseling and financial help to make the first month's payment on their new "home" - their first permanent living situation in a very long, heart-breaking time. Thanks to HEP they have a new start on life and hope for the future!

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Francine F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Employees from St. Petersburg College have donated household goods and clothing to this wonderful organization. Our Career Service Employee Staff organize drives twice a year.

Once you schedule a pick-up for donations, their staff arrives on time and courteous. This is a wonderful organization and a great cause. Thank you HEP for all that you to empower the homeless. F. Fuentes

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I wanted to give a shout out to all the staff and board at HEP. As I work with various service organizations and partner as a church administrator at Skycrest Community Church theirlevel of care and execution in meeting needs is superior across the board. We love partnering with them and appreciate their presence in the community for caring for those less fortunate and the men and women who have served our country that need assistance into the market place and life at large. May God continue to bless and grow your areas of ministry and service to the community. You are making a difference!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HEP is a fantastic organization with a philosophy of not only helping people get back on their feet, but providing all the services needed to help them do so. I volunteer mostly in the kitchen, and sometimes with special events. The quality of meals offered is excellent. All staff are a joy to work with and, even though we all wish there was no need in our society for these services, HEP always seems to be my happy place! Thank you for what you do.......

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been supporting and volunteering at HEP since 2008. This is a fabulous organization helping so many people back to their feet.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We do pet therapy at HEP and enjoy meeting people & spending time with them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What an incredible addition to our community: a non-profit campus that's truly changing lives. Every time I volunteer, I'm inspired by the residents and the staff. Our church group is now volunteering in the kitchen, and it's such a happy experience to be there and see the residents grow, change and evolve. Kudos to a powerful, effective and compassionate non-profit.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We've been contributors as well as volunteers for HEP. The program helps many people and they are always looking for better ways to serve the public.

warreb

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HEP is a great place to volunteer! The people are always helpful, friendly, and appreciative of your time. It feels good to know the effort you give is helping other people in a meaningful way. My daughter even did her service learning project for HEP and was able to help raise money, donate supplies, and bring awareness to the great work HEP does!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with HEP in the kitchen and at various findraising events. My daughter has done several fundraising service projects for HEP, also. We believe in the mission and work they do every day to help our community.

Peso M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

you can never get in to the place everytime you call they give you the run around tell you they never have beds open when they do and they only help wemon out before the guys needs better management

Michele J. C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HEP is an amazing organization, helping people to become independent and successful. I have never found another organization filled with such warm, loving and helpful people as you find at HEP. If you are looking for a good organization to volunteer your time to or to donate assets to, this should be at the top of the list.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered at several non-profits and HEP is the most impressive by far. Their care and commitment to their cause is unsurpassed and they are so respectful and thankful for the help their volunteers provide.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer, I have gained valuable knowledge of how important HEP is to end the cycle of homelessness in our community. Their dedication to our veterans is second to none, I'm so proud to be associated with this outstanding nonprofit.

Dianna M.2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been a HEP volunteer since July 2018. I work on Saturdays from 9 am - 1 pm at the Veteran's Clubhouse. I have met many veterans who have benefited from the HEP program. These men and women range in age from seniors to what I think of as youngsters (25-30). All have recently been homeless; some have had drug and/or alcohol problems; some suffer from PTSD and/or medical issues. If a veteran is ready to address the problems that put him or her on the streets HEP is there to help. Not just with shelter, clothes and decent food but also with guidance in setting goals, shuttle service to the VA hospital so they can keep their appointments and giving them a place to interact with other veterans in a social environment.
I have had the privilege of spending time with new arrivals and those who have been in the program awhile. Those who are new are often confused and by talking to them I can encourage them to keep their appointments with doctors, their HEP counselors and to participate in the social activities set up by the clubhouse coordinators. For those veterans who have been at HEP longer it is nice to talk to them about their progress. You can't imagine how great it is to see a veteran's confidence increase when he/she gets a job or is ready to move into an apartment.
HEP is very supportive of veterans and non-veterans and provides a very vital service in Pinellas County.

Betty J K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer and have found the staff and other volunteers to be caring, committed and cheerful. I enjoy my time spent with HEP.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HEP is an incredible organization and asset to our community. The staff is amazing and were so gracious in working with our family to schedule a time for my son and I along with a friend to serve dinner one Saturday. It was an opportunity for our son to learn about serving others and supporting our community. Thank you HEP for all you do!

Margaret58

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over the last 26 years I have watched HEP grow from a part of Everybody’s Tabernacle to a stand alone 501 (c) (3). When I began volunteering In 1992 there were 5 paid employees and today they have become a nationally and internationally known organization aiding families and individuals , many whom are veterans. Their comprehensive program partnering with, among many others, Baycare Health, has saved the lives of many and enabled many families to become contributing members of the community. Their veterans program is exemplified. Just check out their transparency at Charity Navigator earning them consistently 5 Stars. I have volunteered, worked and supported HEP since then, and still volunteer at events. There is no better place to give your time and your money. I would give it 10 stars if I could!

Previous Stories
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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering at HEP in 1993 and it has been my charity of choice ever since. The dedication and overwhelming number of services available to the homeless population has changed so many lives. Staff and volunteers alike have the best interest of the clients foremost in mind and it shows in day to day communication. The Pinellas County area is so fortunate in having such a nationally recognized and highly rated agency as their own!!! HEP will continue to excell and I am fully behind them.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer in the kitchen of HEP once a week. The staff are great to work with. The clients are very appreciative of the help of the volunteers. I find the HEP organization to be a caring well run organization that is helping to meet the needs of the homeless. I enjoy my time at HEP and find it very rewarding .

Client Served

Rating: 1

I came to h.e.p. seeking assistance in shelter, to transitional housing, to independent affordable living. However, from my move at Safe Harbor to H.E.P. I was given 30 days to accomplish my objectives. They (H.E.P.) could not transition me therefore H.E.P. had to move me back to Safe Habor where I have to live outside in pod 6 compared to pod 2 where I lived before H.E.P. allotted me the 30 day assistance. I have sought assistance in another State where I won't be caught up in the cycle of funding that prove limited.

Marvin Lucas

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Years ago when I was between jobs I volunteered at HEP in the after school program. I was so impressed with the kindness/humbleness of the staff, the beautiful well kept facilities and how the residents expressed their heart felt appreciation. I have volunteered at other homeless shelters and none of them come close to HEP.
Thank you for being there for so many in their time of greatest need!!


Volunteer

Rating: 4

Friendly, welcoming staff who are there when I need them :-)

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am very happy to have the opportunity to volunteer at HEP. Mostly the benefit is knowing that the entire organization is assisting people to get their lives back together.

1 DpGin AndFam P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great place to volunteer!! HEP is a wonderful non-profit... always reaching out to help people!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have worked at HEP at the dental clinic, in the kitchen, and on special events for many years. We are amazed at how HEP has grown from the vision of one faithful couple to the complex and committed organization it is today!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hi! Homeless Empowerment Program is a game changer. The concept of meeting the individual where they are ( giving shelter, food, clothing, a Listening ear, understanding, and caring arms) but then to help the individual elevate their situation through several channels (counseling, training, etc) is priceless. I love being a partner of this awesome organization. People makes all the difference in the world!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband, myself and our 2 sons ages 15 and 7 volunteer in the kitchen serving dinner on a regular basis as well as special events where volunteers are needed and we enjoy every minute! The staff treats the residents with such care and respect it is amazing to see.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered in various ways in the past few years - starting with bringing my therapy dogs to the campus to visit with some of the residents. The volunteer coordinator(s) at the campus and all the staff are very friendly & easy to work with. We love the work that HEP does - keep it up!!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love everything HEP does. They don't enable, they empower the less fortunate to lead productive lives and be self sustaining citizens again. I love to volunteer in the dental clinic and clean teeth and help them with oral hygiene matters.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered as a tutor for those wanting their GED, and served at various functions. HEP does ant outstanding job of promoting the homeless community and helping them to achieve their personal goals.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

HEP is undoubtedly the most comprehensive and most highly regarded housing and support services program for homeless populations in their entire continuum if not the state!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

With such a history of hope restoration to those in need, its hard to find someone who hasn't heard of HEP. Just as the six degrees of separation theory (that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction) Sooner or later you will experience the "Six degrees of Hep" and the wonderful stories of lives changed for the better!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Has staff to assist clients with many needs and really get them prepared for independence in the community.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a nurse and have worked at HEP for 10 years. They are helping more each year by having more programs to meet the needs of the homeless from job coaches to mental health therapists. HEP focuses on helping the homeless population to help themselves and obtain housing when their time is completed at the shelter.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My first encounter with HEP was an invitation from a friend to attend a luncheon and guided tour. I was hooked from that day on! I started as a volunteer and now work as an Activity Coordinator in the Veteran's clubhouse. HEP is a place that provides not only shelter, but dignity, respect and a family environment to all who find themselves in need.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

HEP is a Non-Profit that you can be proud of I know I am it does what it says " Helping people help themselves"
You hear about HEP and how they help the homeless, but until you get involved in some way, volunteering, working or supporting their efforts you cannot image the scope of what this organization does for individuals, veterans and families . Amazing!!!