Published: December 27, 2008
Updated: May 22, 2013 at 02:00 PM
True to its name, Home With a Heart provides more than temporary and permanent housing for people in need. This nonprofit agency provides the warmth, encouragement and even the luxuries that come with a real home.Started more than eight years ago in Titusville, Home With a Heart has established a Pasco County office at 5623 U.S. 19 in New Port Richey."We're coming to Pasco to help out," said George McCoy, Pasco executive director of Home With a Heart. "So many people here need help."Home With a Heart provides low-cost housing to people in need and food for the body and mind.People in Home With a Heart housing get breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday, as well as laundry facilities and cable, computer and phone access. Computer access is particularly important, said CEO Leslie Stokes, to help people in need take advantage of opportunities."They need computer technology and e-mail for job and social service opportunities," she said. "There's no reason why they shouldn't succeed."They also have access to housing, employment and mental health counseling.Looking For Self-SufficiencyIn return, residents are required to develop and enact a plan that will lead them toward independent lives. They're required to keep their living areas clean and conduct themselves in a responsible manner."We are moving them toward self-sufficiency," Stokes said.Home With a Heart maintains 36 rooms at the Travel Lodge in New Port Richey. The agency also is in the process of securing five buildings in New Port Richey's Sunset Bay Club: three-story structures with five apartments each.These buildings come complete with master bed and bath suites, shared living areas and full kitchens, and laundry facilities. They also offer phone and utilities, Internet, a heated pool and shuffleboard courts."We'll be able to house 70 people at Sunset Bay Club," McCoy said.Home With a Heart helps a variety of people, from veterans who need help transitioning back into society to displaced senior citizens and families in financial crisis. And beyond housing assistance, Home With a Heart hosts other programs for people in need.The agency helps resolve landlord/tenant issues; helps ex-offenders re-enter society with the development of housing and occupational skills; supplies Christmas gifts and school supplies to needy people; and helps elderly people through a number of programs and services.Putting Love Into ActionOn a local level, Home With a Heart is a member of the Coalition for the Homeless of Pasco County, and recently donated 36 blankets, volunteer services and food to the coalition's Homeless Memorial Day event on Monday.A Home With a Heart race car (part of a national Home With a Heart Races benefit team) was displayed in the New Port Richey Christmas Parade.In the future, the Pasco division of Home With a Heart plans more programs and activities geared toward pursuing and fulfilling its organizational mission and motto."We put love into action to create unity in the community," stated a Home With a Heart brochure.HOME WITH A HEARTSOME BACKGROUND: Home With a Heart Community Programs and Services Inc. is, according to a brochure, "a 501 (c) 3 charitable organization, established to battle the precursor of poverty, through solution-driven programs and services."COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTIONS: Home With a Heart works toward a number of goals, including unity, prevention before cure, consistency, economic health, crime- and drug-free living, community building, self-sufficiency and social conscience.A LITTLE HISTORY: Established eight years ago in Titusville, Home With a Heart has served Pasco County since 2006. The organization now has established a permanent office at 5623 U.S.19 in New Port Richey.WHAT'S NEXT?: Aside from proving affordable housing and support services for people in need, Home With a Heart plans to establish a benefit store and a recycling site and to participate in a number of community efforts.GET INVOLVED: Home With a Heart is in need of housing applicants and volunteers. For more information, call (727) 484-7485 or visit www.hwhworldwide.org.