Based in Clearwater, Florida, Hope Villages of America was founded in 1967 by local church congregations of varying faiths to provide support, resources and compassion to individuals and families facing hunger, homelessness and domestic violence in their community.
A haven of help & hope
Hope Villages of America dedicates its support and resources to addressing food insecurity, domestic violence and housing stability for its community of Pinellas County.
The nonprofit serves over 150,000 individuals annually through its programs and services. Their Food Distribution and Basic Needs Division provides meals and distributes more than 6 million pounds of food yearly through its food distribution center, which supports local food pantries, homeless shelters, domestic violence safe houses, and soup kitchens.
The Haven at Hope Villages of America is a certified domestic violence center that provides a safe space for women and children fleeing abusive situations, including elder abuse and human trafficking. The center offers safety planning, support groups, advocacy, relocation assistance, and other services to help the women and children they serve find safe housing and achieve independence.
With rent and home costs rising, Hope Villages provides services and tools to help unhoused people find and maintain stable homes, including case management, life-skills training and assistance with rent and utility bills. The goal is to move individuals and families from the street to permanent housing — and potentially home ownership.
“Like many communities, we have residents who are struggling to meet the fundamental needs of food, shelter and safety for themselves and their families,” said Melinda Perry, COO of Hope Villages of America. “Our mission is to restore hope and dignity to our neighbors in need and get them on a path to being safe, secure and self-sufficient.”
“Our mission is to restore hope and dignity to our neighbors in need and get them on a path to being safe, secure and self-sufficient.”
– Melinda Perry, COO of Hope Villages of America
Comforts of home
The leadership and staff at Solace Insurance in Dunedin, Florida, live up to their agency’s name by providing comfort to the individuals and families served by Hope Villages.
Since 2008, Solace has supported the nonprofit by sponsoring events and through staff volunteerism, such as sorting donated food and serving on committees, for which employees receive paid time off.
When the call for help comes, the Solace staff are ready to respond. CEO and principal Robert Childress recalls the staff volunteering to clean out emergency housing units for Hope Villages to make way for new furniture. The Solace volunteers went a step further and bought sets of towels for the next tenants.
“Hardship can happen to anyone at any time, and it’s our duty and privilege to help,” said Childress. “We knew when people arrived at the emergency housing, they would have nothing. We wanted to give them something they could take when they found a new home for their families.”
“Hardship can happen to anyone at any time, and it’s our duty and privilege to help.”
– Robert Childress, CEO and principal of Solace Insurance
Drive to end food insecurity
A Make More Happen Award from Liberty Mutual, Safeco Insurance and State Auto will make a substantial and immediate impact on Hope Villages’ mobile food pantry program, which brings food directly to communities challenged with food insecurity, including public housing, senior apartment complexes, and community centers. The program provided more than 235,000 meals at 150 pantry events in 2022.