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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Homeless Empowerment Program

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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 2019, HEP served 1,059 people, including 132 children and 478 veterans. In our state-of-the-art kitchen and dining hall, we served 107,830 nutritious meals. The HEP Dental and Wellness Clinic provided an astonishing 6,628 dental procedures valued at $1,000,000. Through a strategic community partnership with the Morton Plant Hospital through the Morton Plant Outreach Team (MPOT), we saved the community $5,759,846 with onsite wellness services and avoided emergency room visits and ambulance calls.

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

Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2019, we served 1,059 people, including 132 children and 478 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

105 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Debby T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great charity not only helping people in need, but equipping them with the skills needed to be independent. The organization continues to grow and expand services with community support. If you are fortunate enough to not need their services, consider volunteering some time and/or make a donation to this worthy cause.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have worked with the homeless for 15 years and HEP is top notch in their forward thinking vision to provide a continuum of care for those who need it. I also spent time living as a resident of HEP when illness caused my life to take a detour. Now I work full time bringing wellness initiatives to the current residents.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HEP makes a tremendously big contribution to those in our community who benefit from their wide-ranging services. It is an efficient and well-run, compassionate and caring organization, and we have been grateful to have the opportunity to serve as food service volunteers for the past 4 months. We definitely plan to continue. Kudos to those who organize and lead this fine nonprofit!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been with HEP for 6 months and this is the best program and the best people with whom I have ever been associated.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

i have volunteered for nearly a year, and find it rewarding to see how appreciative the people are that you are serving or assisting.. I also believe in the programs they have in place.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at HEP since participating in Joe Maddons Thankmas project in July. It has been a distinct pleasure and an honor to serve our great veterans and family’s while working with some of the finest people I know. It has also been a privilege to be a small part of this great organization and to witness firsthand the life changing work they do. Thank you for all that you do HEP and may God bless you!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been with HEP a short time and I am impressed by everyone's team work and dedication to the organization. I am happy to be part of the HEP family.

Patricia109

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I look at HEP as a life saver for so many men, women and children. It strengthens my heart to see what the HEP shelter can do for someone without making them fill ashamed or embarrassed. They help people help themselves. With all the services HEP provides, the person or family regain their self esteem. The have accepted the help of services that HEP gives with pride. They are on their way to becoming self sufficient. They want to give back to a community that has helped so many. The children have been assisted with school work and excelled with the school grades on report cards. I would give them the highest score possible because I have seen their work first hand and all the good that comes from it.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am able to see first hand the direct impact that HEP, Inc. has on the community and the positive effect it cultivates with our clients. From helping clients getting re-established with their lives to housing to being given daily sustenance, HEP provides hope to many where there was none.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked in several different states serving homeless in a variety of non-profit settings. The HEP model of service delivery and outcomes exceeds any program I have seen in my 26 years in the field.
In particular, the quality of housing, the breadth of case management, the holistic approach to serving all individuals, veterans and families in the expectation that this is the last homeless shelter they will ever need, are all exemplary. The public and private support locally and regionally helps maintain a viable infrastructure accountability to ensure the high standards of service continue to evolve and improve. The partnership with Bay Care Health Systems, the dental clinic and the Thrift Store voucher system are all components that I have not seen in other homeless non profits; these programs really increase the quality of life for all residents!

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have observed HEP from the early years when HEP transitioned from a feeding program to one offering more comprehensive solutions to homelessness. Their dedication has been exceptional. They have always concentrated on results and have been an immeasurable asset to our community. Needless to say, I am a fan.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My professional career has been in the non-profit world for over 24 years. I've known about the good works of HEP for years but did not realize the full scope of their outreach until I became a staff member. The dedication from the staff makes a huge difference in the lives of the clients they serve. For the past year- and- a- half I have witnessed first hand HEP's staunch commitment to the homeless population. Come and check us out your life will be forever changed.

2 Ron_27

Client Served

Rating: 4

I came to Clearwater in October 1997 dying from complications of a lung tumor with only three months to live! So, I had been told by a doctor a month earlier. I was sober, but living in my car at the Seminole Marina. I was referred to HEP by a friend and accepted. Wow! Danna Slaughter was my conselor who showed me how to Help Myself! Watching Dana and Pat work cleaning these apartments astonished me. They seemed tireless and always in good cheer. So Godly, both of them.
Otis always had time to say hello. Barbara was a no nonsense person who I came to dearly love.
Within two weeks I had medical care, and a primary physician! Doctor Johnston fitted me with new dentures...after he removed what was left in my mouth! Gulf Coast Legal Services obtained my SSI for me - thank you Pamela Wiener!
One of my best memories is the Christmas Party on the old and beautuful Gazebo where Jim played Santa and gave out presents to over two hundred people including many, many children!
So many fond memories of HEP! I was fortunate to live in three of their transitional houses. Two of which I had my own private room. Finally after 7 1/2 years I moved on to a wonderfu place called Creekside Manor I. Looking back on the past 16 years I can say that I've learned to live within my means and get closer to God almighty.
I stop by and visit the Thrift shop once a month now, always hoping to catch a glimpse of some staff person I had known over the years. In essence: HEP is the best thing that's ever happened to me...and I am healthier than I've been in thirty years! 75 next month and 23 years sober!!!... Ron Smokey Townson

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had enjoyed shopping at the thrift store for years. I began volunteering several months ago, and through that I have come to understand what a great charity this organization is. The help that is given to the people in need is truly remarkable, and it appears to be done with amazing skill and compassion. Everyone is committed to the same thing, and it truly shows.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

Does a great job with homeless veterans. Housing, feeding them and finding them jobs.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They give the clients opportunities to better themselves by giving them the support and confidence to better themselves.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I ama new fan of this wonderful organization. Best of luck! Deb

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Everybody's Tabernacle/HEP is the very best run shelter in the USA. This was my home church for over 50 years. I have personally seen them grow from helping one church member to the multiservie org it is today. I ask Prearcher(our founder) how the organization had grown over the years. He said "the more I give, the more God gives back to me? Love all of you at ET & HEP. Barb Poynter

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked in the social service community for 33 years and for the first time in my career, I find myself working in a

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have a BA in psychology with 20 years of experience working with a variety of people with mental disorders and substance abuse, including the homeless population. I am a current staff member, employed by BayCare who is partnered with HEP to provide SHOP services through a 5 year grant. I was impressed in coming to HEP because the organization has grown to it's current program and assisted thousands of people gain a new start.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer in the Learning Center at HEP on weekly basis during the school year. I help with homework, talk with the kids, and help them with their community service projects. They send cards and pictures to the USO, the Ronald McDonald House, and the Children's Cancer Center. In 2008 they held a golf tournament to raise money so they could give back to their community. In 2009 they got involved with the Relay for Life and they decorated luminaria bags, participated in the Kids Walk, and cleaned up after the event. In 2009 they sponsored a young boy that had a heart transplant and wanted to go to golf camp. Working with them several times a week and seeing how generous they are with their time and good works is very touching especially considering their situations. Its very rewarding to see the children learn and grow as they attend the Center each day.

9

Donor

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of knowing Barb Green for the past 17 years and can't say enough good things about the Homeless Emergency Project. Barb and her late husband, Pastor Otis Green, were homeless advocates long before most of us had the issue on our radar screen. They realized that, through an unfortunate illness, injury or downturn in the economy, virtually anyone could find himself or herself homeless. HEP doesn't just provide housing, food and health care for its clients, it gives them a reason to hope and to become self-sufficient again. It's a model to be admired and replicated.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Mr. Mullins, and I was a client at HEP! They helped me to get my disability when I could not keep work, or access any work, because of my health, and not being able to work past the usual 90day trial period! I lost everything, and I mean everything! HEP provided me with food and shelter until I could get back on my feet again! They are "ANGELS FROM HEAVEN", as far as I am concerned! I am now on my own, and have an appartment by myself, a car, and a means of supporting myself financially! Thanks be to God and HEP! I now volunteer in the Thrift Store there doing watch repair! I am no professional, but I donate my time there, and it is greatly appreciated! I also donate watches that I fix, and Merry & Dennis who appreciate my time and donations! Thanks is not enough for what HEP has done for me!!! That is why I donate my time! God has given me a gift, and I do what i can to give back! It seems fitting to close with my favorite quote by Robert J. Burdett..(and I live by this quote)... Don't think the world owes you a living! The world owes you nothing! IT WAS HERE FIRST! RE: I had nothing in this world, but thanks to the Homeless Emergency Project, I am self sufficiant again! :-) God Bless!

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is extremely rewarding being a volunteer at HEP. Having volunteered at various organizations, I sm most impressed with the way HEP functions. In meeting the needs of those less fortunate, they go the extra mile in every way & manner. At all times the residents are shown understanding along with a sense of dignity & respect. Therefore, they do not feel as oucasts, but rather a part of a warm & caring facility.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Homeless Emergency Project does it's best to ensure all of it's residents recieve the highest quality of care. The staff are heartwarming and show a desire to help. Most importantly, each guest is treated with the respect that they deserve. I myself have been a kitchen volunteer since June 2009. All of the food served to the residents is made fresh from scratch. There is always a wonderful aroma coming from the kitchen. When I'm serving lunch, helping around the kitchen, or helping prepare the meals, I can sense enthusiasm from everyone around me. The fun atmosphere and heartwarming residents are what inspire me to return and volunteer each week.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with HEP began a few years ago when my high school age daughter informed me of her service to the community through HEP. She suggested that I might serve the community through this volunteer outreach. For the last few months I have worked under Merry and Dennis Shaw who head up the thrift store. This ongoing experience exceeds my expectations. During my short time there I have come to appreciate the devotion, committment, and Christian testimony mainly of the two people who manage the work, Mrs. and Mr. Shaw, but also of the entire ministry team. The Shaws not only work hard to provide a clean and well managed store (I have worked retail management in the past so I know the work involved) but the patrons and clients look to them as Christian examples as well as professional store management. Not only is the thrift store a ministry, but practically speaking, it must be operated as a business as well. I am proud to serve with such honest, genuine, caring, examples of Christ's love. I truly believe the thrift store is providing much more than just re-sales of products. The customers get to see first hand how well the whole HEP operates. The team there is a fine example of the most positive aspects of the church in my community.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer and board member for over 8 years! HEP is a wonderful organazation that has helped countless individuals and families who due to an many hardships including mental illness, physical illness of a child or bread winner found themselves on the streets unable to make ends meet. The compassionate staff day after day do wonderful work to lift the burdens these people carry and help them make their own way in the world again. This is a full service homeless shelter and there are so many services that are provided that go far beyond the name.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a weekly volunteer at HEP I have am blessed to see so many individuals given an opportunity to turn their lives around. The caring, compassionate and knowledgeable staff are what makes this homeless shelter feel like a structured family environment. So many of the clients served here need and have never had the support, strength and love that this organization champions to succeed in life. The many programs HEP offer are geared to not only teach residents to become self sufficient, but instill a sense of respect and responsibility to oneself, to family and to our community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experinece as a volunteer with the Homeless Emergency Project has been the most rewarding part of my life. Working with homeless veterans has been so rewarding. I think that HEP does a marvelous job in caring for the homeless.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

HEP is an organization that is dedicated to ending homelessness for every man woman and child who come to our door. Over the past 25 years we have developed partnerships with 25 other agencies to bring whatever resources are required to correct the you cause of a person's or family's situation. whther it be physical or mental illness, loss of a job, drug or alcohol addiction, post traumatic stress disorder, or a combination of these hep has the resources and dedicated staff and the resolve to make a difference. Serving upwards of 2000 people each year using a combination of public and private support we are the largest agency of our type in Pinellas County. And we are a four star navigator rated charity for fiscal performance. How good are we? over 70% of our residents transition to permanent housing!!!