Financial help for some of Tampa's struggling neighborhoods - WFLA News Channel 8

Financial help for some of Tampa's struggling neighborhoods

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Marde Johnson has lived in her Tampa Heights home for 25 years.  But now, her old house needs some serious repairs and she and her husband can't afford to make them.  She feels the home is not safe.

"My husband is disabled," she said. "I have to stand on he edge of the tub and the toilet, one foot on the toilet and one on the tub to bathe him and wash his hair. And I have back problems."

The home also need electrical repairs and some tender loving care outside.  So Johnson is thrilled to be the recipient of a new neighborhood stabilization program that will pay for the repairs, plus a fresh coat of paint outside.

Mortgage giant Wells Fargo is donating $800,000 to six local nonprofits.  The six nonprofits are:

  • Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay, $300,000
  • Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corp.: $175,000
  • Volunteers of America: $150,000
  • Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful: $75,000
  • USF Small Business Development Center: $50,000
  • MacDonald Training Center: $50,000

"Incredible awards for incredible non-profit partners in the city of Tampa," said Carl Miller, regional president of Wells Fargo.

This program is part of Mayor Bob Buckhorn's plan to concentrate on the city's crime-ridden areas. Last month, he tore down a Sulphur Springs house while announcing a program to demolish 50 more houses. 

"Those neighborhoods are the underpinnings of our city. As Sulphur Springs goes, so goes Seminole Heights, so goes Palma Ceia, so goes Culbreath Isles," he said.

Some have questioned Buckhorn's strategy and whether dumping money into poor neighborhoods is the best way to change them, but he makes no apologies.

"I can tell you that leaving an abandoned, dilapidated, basically destroyed house in a neighborhood, does no good for anybody," Buckhorn said.

To find out more information about these grants, contact any of the nonprofits directly, or call Wells Fargo at 813-849-1121.

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