THE NIGHT SHELTER
The SVDP Night Shelter, awarded a contract by the City of St. Petersburg in 2006, is open 365 nights a year from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. It is an "in at night/out in the morning" facility that is a key referral resource for social service agencies due to its capacity and proximity to the downtown St. Petersburg area, where nearly 53% of Pinellas County's homeless population congregate and live.
For the male clients, shelter is set up in the Food Center's Dining Room, where volunteers place the chairs on top of the tables and arrange the mats and laundered blankets in rows on the floor. The ladies dormitory, accomodating up to 12 females, is similarly set up in a seperate room outside of the Dining Room.
The Night Shelter can accommodate up to 65 persons who are in need of a safe place to sleep for the evening. Staff begin admitting new clients at 8:45 p.m. so that they may obtain the necessary demographic information relative to their housing status. Returning clients sign in at 9 p.m. and proceed to their numbered mats where they are required to stay for the night, leaving only to take a shower or use the bathroom. Clients are allowed to sleep in the Shelter for up to 21 consecutive nights, after which they must make room for new arrivals. After 14 nights "out", they may be re-admittedif they haven't found more permanent lodging and have obided by SVDP's "Ten Commandments of Service" rules. In Fiscal Year 2010-11, the SVDP Night Shelter served 1,171 unduplicated clients.
Staff is equipped with push-to-talk cell phones that provide quick access to on-site security, as well as to the St. Petersburg Police Department. They are also trained in First Aid and CPR. Night Shelter staff are also responsible for counting the people on the streets outside of the building for reports to the City, monitoring the clients with frequent walk-throughs of the Dining Room throughout the evening, and keeping a log of all activities that occur throughout the night.
St. Vincent de Paul Night Shelter
401 15th Street North, Saint Petersburg, FL. 33705
Night Shelter Manager: Brandon Crookshanks