The mission of the Homeless Leadership Board is to coordinate all community partners, systems and resources available with the goal of helping individuals and families to prevent, divert, and end homelessness in Pinellas County.
History of the Pinellas County Homeless Leadership Board
For many years Pinellas County benefited from two homeless initiative leadership organizations, the Pinellas County Coalition for the Homeless (PCCH) and the Homeless Leadership Network (HLN).
What began as a small group of advocates in Pinellas County in 1984 grew into the widely-known PCCH which incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 1988. PCCH had a mission to provide community education, advocacy, program support, capacity building and technical assistance for the communities, agencies and organizations concerned with homelessness and to secure funds for needed homeless services.
In 2006, Pinellas County developed an additional entity to focus on local homelessness issues from a policy perspective, and the Homeless Leadership Network (HLN) was created. HLN differed from PCCH in that it was a planning body charged with addressing the problem of local homelessness, comprised of 35 elected officials, community leaders and institutional representatives.
In February of 2012, PCCH and HLN merged and became the Homeless Leadership Board (HLB).
The merger streamlined leadership and made the Board more accountable, with a focus on making the homeless services system more effective and performance–driven in moving individuals and families from homelessness to permanent housing. The structure of the Board is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) which focuses on homeless families, individuals and unaccompanied youth.
The HLB is comprised of 21 members, a Chief Executive officer and 3 additional staff. The Board includes eight elected officials and thirteen community leaders; (four service experts, two faith based organizations representatives, two business representatives, a representative of the Juvenile Welfare Board, one healthcare representative, two at-large representatives and one homeless or formally homeless representative). The Board does much of its work through two major councils and their committees, which provide comprehensive information and recommendations for action and approval to the Board. The Providers Council and the Funders Council each has sitting representatives from the HLB. The Homeless Leadership Board relies on existing human services and business networks and committees as much as possible, to work together to identify concerns and make recommendations on homeless issues.
The Pinellas County Homeless Leadership Board operates in accordance with Chapter 119, Florida Statutes – the “Sunshine Law” – and thus any materials given to Board Members or staff are considered public records and are retained and, upon request, made available to the public and media.