Anonymous donor gives Sarasota $100,000 to tackle homeless issue

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SARASOTA - An anonymous donor is helping the City of Sarasota tackle its much talked about homeless issue.

Last month, City Manager Tom Barwin learned a donation of $100,000 had been made in order to assist the city deal with helping those in need.

"We think we can make some significant progress on this over the next couple of years," said Barwin.

Barwin is spearheading the effort, called The Chronically Homeless Master Caseworker and Planning Program.  He says its likely the City and County will each contribute an additional $20,000, totaling $140,000.

"We really appreciate the donor trying to move us all in the right direction," said Barwin.

Barwin says the money will be used on the following:

  • Up to $100,000 to hire caseworker(s) to assist willing individuals find jobs, homes and to overcome addictions.
  • Up to $25,000 to fund a new strategic plan addressing the homeless issue.
  • Up to $15,000 in supplies, materials, transportation to support staff and initiative. 

Leslie Loveless, the Interim Executive Director with the Suncoast Partnership to end Homelessness, applauds the plan.

"This will address the issue in Downtown Sarasota. Chronic homelessness is a serious concern for all of us. We are equally concerned for the homeless as we are the residents, but there is still work to be done."

This Monday night, Sarasota City Commissioners are expected to vote on whether to contribute the additional $20,000. If approved, the money will come from the City's contingency fund.