TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Salvation Army is starting the process of getting a new emergency shelter built in Tampa, and they’re doing it with a beloved Tampa power couple.
Currently the Salvation Army has a shelter at 1603 N Florida Ave. in the Tampa Heights neighborhood, but it’s an old car dealership and over 50 years old.
“We’re operating in an old used car dealership. So what’s happening is that it’s not really accommodating our needs. We’ll be able to have more private rooms, much nicer dining space, educational slots as well. We’ll be able to have a newer building all together which will help up serve more people,” said Captain Andy Miller with the Salvation Army in Tampa.
The new shelter would renovate the existing building and turn it into a 39,000 square foot campus like shelter. It’ll have state of the art amenities, flexible spaces, and allow the organization to serve up to 180 people left homeless. The $6.5 million project will need the community’s help, and that’s where former buccaneer Coach Tony Dungy and his wife Lauren come in.
“We’ve seen it just riding around the city with our kids, you see more people on the street. Rather than just say, oh that’s too bad, here was a situation where we know the salvation army is helping some of these people. Maybe we can get involved. That’s a way to help someone that we see without actually being able to help them individually,” said Tony to 8 On Your Side’s Marco Villarreal in an online interview.
“So when we heard about the Salvation Army’s need to expand the facilities so that more people could be serviced and helped we definitely jumped on board cause that is something that we want to do,” said Lauren.
The Salvation Army says they have seen a 300% increase in people needing help during the pandemic. If you would like to join the Dungy’s in helping get the new shelter built you can get more information and donate here.
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