Campaign to help awareness of Pinellas homeless - WFLA News Channel 8

Campaign to help awareness of Pinellas homeless

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Isoke Jacobs and her children are at a homeless shelter Isoke Jacobs and her children are at a homeless shelter
HERNANDO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Pinellas County children and families make up a large part of the homeless population, yet that's not the stereotype most think of when discussing homeless issues.

To dispel myths about the homeless, a coalition of homeless advocates, community leaders, and business partners launched plans today for a new campaign to raise public awareness about the homeless.

Students from the Art Institute of Tampa are creating and designing the multi-media ads.

One focus of the ads is the problem of homeless children.  Children are 38% of the 6000 homeless population in Pinellas county.

"Raising a child in a car or in the parking lot of a Walmart is not what this community wants. I don't think the community is aware of what the homeless issues are, particularly with children and that's what we hope to do with this campaign being kicked off today," said Bob Dillinger, Pinellas Public Defender.

Isoke Jacobs, a single mother of five children said she ended-up homeless after moving to Florida for a job that didn't pan out. "I've had hard times before but had family members I could stay with, but my family is not here and so it was scary," said Jacobs.

She was able to get help through the Homeless Emergency Project in Clearwater. "This is everybody. It's me, it's you, anybody can end up being homeless," said Jacobs.

The ads will be modeled after the successful Truth Campaign of 1998, where young artists and marketers worked together to target teens with anti-tobacco ads.

The homeless awareness ads should be ready to launch in the Tampa Bay Area in about 6 months.

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