Starting Right, Now Opens Transitional Home for Homeless Teens in St. Pete

smith and associates

Starting Right, Now, with the help of Humana, Ajax Building Corportation, Chris Archer and donations from residents throughout the Tampa Bay area, has officially opened their St. Pete campus.  The former Harris TIPS Drop-Out Prevention School at 4600 Haines Road will serve as transitional housing for homeless unaccompanied youth — there are roughly 6,000 between Pinellas and Hillsborough.

The new campus features boys and girls dorms, a training center and computer labs. Starting Right, Now is a program designed to meet the needs of the growing population of homeless families and children all over Tampa Bay.

“We’re confident that expanding our services will help us take a giant leap towards our goal of ending homelessness in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties,” said Vicki Sokolik, Founder of Starting Right, Now. “We transform the lives of homeless teens to end their survival struggle and allow them to focus on education.”

Unaccompanied youth is a federal term for students not living with their parent or guardian.

From the SRN website: “These high school students have found themselves without housing due to circumstances beyond their control. They are not eligible for foster care because they were not taken from their families rather they end up in this situation due to both parents being incarcerated, a death of a parent, abuse or drug abuse in the home, etc. Students in the SRN program have made a commitment, despite their circumstances, to stay in high school.”

SRN has a 95% success rate in Hillsborough County and has served more than 190 youth. The program is completely holistic offering wrap around services in every facet of the youth’s lives.

Visit their website to learn more about the program and to donate to the organization. You can also follow the progress and successes of their students on their Facebook page.

Leave your vote

0 points
Upvote Downvote

Written by Brian Bailey


Brian Bailey is the founder of I Love the Burg and That's So Tampa. In addition to regular contributions to each blog, he's been featured as a commentator to Bay New 9, The Tampa Tribune, The Tampa Bay Times, The Tampa Bay Business Journal and The Business Observer as well as national outlets including The Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal. Brian is currently the Chief Marketing & Experience Officer for Metro Inclusive Health.