Pinellas County organization changing lives, creating hope

Neighborhood Family Center
Janet Hooper, CEO of The Safety Harbor Neighborhood Family Center, in Pinellas County, is making every effort to change lives and create hope for the lives of many.

The Safety Harbor Neighborhood Family Center, in Pinellas County, is making every effort to change lives and create hope for the lives of many.

The center is one of eight family centers in Pinellas County partially funded by the Juvenile Welfare Board. Founded in 1994 the facility is known as the Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center. Mattie Williams was the heart and soul of the organization, according to present day CEO Janet Hooper.

Williams, who passed away a few years ago, gave a lot to her community through the center – providing critical basic needs, running food pantries and community outreach. Although limited in the financial support, the center also helps people with utilities bills, water and electric. And then they work with career development, but the biggest part of the organization that Hooper likes to talk about is their children’s program.

“We have an after-school program and a summer camp. We try to improve – school success is very important. And a child that can’t read doesn’t go anywhere.”

Diaper, cat food, dog food, clothing among other items are all given away. “We are not a handout; we are a hand-up,” according the Hooper. “We try to help people move through a tough time in their lives.”

In short, the center helps struggling families. To learn more about the center, visit their website.

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