Hope Villages of America (HVA) is announcing its plans to expand support from Pinellas County to the greater Tampa Bay area. HVA helps those who are food insecure, in need of housing or facing homelessness, domestic violence victims and those experiencing all forms of abuse from elder abuse to child bullying. They are one of the few multidimensional organizations able to address this wide range of socioeconomic issues and are seeing an increasing need to help those who are suffering.
“We see this as our mission and time to take action and help,” says Kirk Ray Smith, President and CEO of HVA. “Our organization name really is intentional and says it all. We can overcome major obstacles together – with a village – and not just in Pinellas County, but beyond. That’s why we’re expanding to the greater Tampa Bay region and with plans to provide support nationally in the future.”
Smith is using his business models, VIVID and BECQI for building relationships, eliminating mistakes, controlling expenses, quality programs and increasing revenue to implement this expansion. When he joined HVA in 2016, the nonprofit had been struggling. The organization with a strong mission to ‘provide hope restoration with dignity to those in need through innovative programs and services’ was struggling financially.
Smith instituted structural and staffing changes to bring HVA operations in line with existing funding and is now pushing forward to a new phase of growth. HVA is a 95-percent volunteer organization (2,500 volunteers each year with 80 employees), serving 150,000 individuals and families annually—or 15 percent of the County’s population.
The lives HVA touches include more than 300 individuals in emergency shelters, 70,000 food-insecure individuals and thousands of people through the safe house and outreach centers.
“We are utilizing the strategy to help those in need from Pinellas County to surrounding areas and beyond and also tailoring our approach to each area’s unique needs. Communities are going through a lot. We must help serve those in need,” says Smith.
This year HVA will embark on Phase Two of the organization’s expansion, and there are plans for a three-to-five-year approach that serves communities nationwide.
“Every person deserves safety, basic items, and food. We want people not just to survive. We want them to thrive! We work very hard to provide a step up for people to get to self-sufficiency and independence.”
About Hope Villages of America: Established in 1967, HVA is a registered 501(c)(3) organization that addresses hunger, housing, and abuse in our community. This mission is advanced through three distinct but integrated divisions: Food Distribution & Basic Needs, Housing Stability Services, and Abuse Services. These divisions operate in more than 60,000 square feet of service space and serve more than 150,000 individuals who rely on them annually. For more information, visit hopevillagesofamerica.org or call 727-584-3528.