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Mayor selects nonprofit to implement Community Hubs

Mayor Ken Welch recently announced that he selected The Well to lead St. Petersburg’s design and implementation of Community Support Hubs throughout the city. The Pinellas Community Foundation will administer $8.58 million of the city’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to establish the network. Officials from Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services and People Empowering and Restoring Communities will collaborate with Dr. LaDonna Butler, co-founder of The Well, to bolster neighborhood health and safety across St. Pete.

Mayor declares July as BIPOC mental health month

St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch will proclaim July as Bebe Moore Campbell National BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) Mental Health Awareness Month in the city. The declaration aligns with a national movement to increase awareness, promote understanding and provide support for mental health issues among minority populations. The Miller Auditorium at Eckerd College will host a presentation at 9 a.m. Friday, July 7. To register, visit the website here.

City officials expand home rehab initiative

The South St. Pete CRA’s (community redevelopment area) popular Rebates for Affordable Residential Rehabs program is now available to residents citywide. Officials expanded the program to provide more homeowners the opportunity to receive rebates for structural repairs, electrical work, constructing an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) and other renovations to increase the quality and supply of affordable housing. For more information, visit the website here.

Pinellas kids lead region in kindergarten readiness

According to Florida Department of Education data, 60% of Pinellas County children are “ready” for kindergarten, the highest rate in Tampa Bay. Pasco County is second, at 53%. The Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County recently launched its “Brain Building Summer” campaign to help increase those scores. Families can print handouts and watch videos with tips on the nonprofit’s website here.

Lealman residents will have their first fireworks show

Over 30,000 residents who call Lealman home will soon have their first fireworks show in the unincorporated community’s history. The display is part of the Lealman Independence Day Celebration July 4 at Raymond H. Neri Community Park, which will also feature a laser light show, food trucks, free hot dogs, a beer and wine garden, music and activities. The event runs from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m., and attendees can park at the Lealman Exchange at 5175 45th St. N.

Performance event showcases foster teens

Following three weeks of interactive arts education - led by Family Support Services of Pasco and Pinellas Counties and The Performers Academy - local foster teens will unveil their talents to the community Thursday night. The “Just Like Me” exhibition will feature dance, theater, visual art, recording arts, lyricism and fashion design. Pinellas Technical College in Clearwater will host the free event, which begins at 6 p.m. Thursday. For more information, visit the website here.

Meet the St. Pete Pride 2023 grand marshals

Alex Quinto, a counselor for Pinellas County Schools, is a “community pick” for Pride grand marshal. Joining Quinto as a community selection is Ryan Young, a longtime advocate for equity and inclusivity. The organization’s board chose the final grand marshal, Tamara Leigh. She has “dedicated her life to championing” multiple marginalized populations. All three marshals will lead the June 24 St. Pete Pride Parade.

Reimagined Black Lives Matter mural unveiled

Officials with the Woodson African American Museum, the City of St. Petersburg and the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance unveiled a reimagined Black Lives Matter mural Monday in celebration of Juneteenth. It now reads “Black History Matters.” City officials have closed the area in front of the museum at 2240 9th Ave. S. until July 10. To view a picture of the updated mural and a list of participating artists, visit the website here.

City selects 56 businesses for South St. Pete microfund program

After St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch recently announced the rollout of the South St. Petersburg CRA (Community Redevelopment Area) Microfund program to create new accessible funding pot for business owners, the city has selected 56 businesses for the program. Over the next few months, business owners will work to develop a personalized capacity-building plan, a business and spending plan, and complete several surveys and a final report. Upon completion of the program, each cohort participant will be eligible to receive up to $10,000 to be used at their discretion based on their planning with their Greenhouse Navigator, according to the city's Thursday announcement. 

Health Department offers free student services

School-based popup clinics will provide physicals, immunizations, vision screenings and basic dental services for children starting Monday, June 19. The free program requires an appointment, a parent or guardian present and immunization and medical records. Call (727) 824-6900 to make an appointment and select option 4.

St. Pete Youth Farm turns four

The St. Pete Youth Farm is celebrating its fourth birthday Friday. Carla Bristol, collaboration manager, often says she grows nutritious food and community leaders simultaneously, and the event will also serve as a reunion. The public can participate in the celebration, which starts at 6 p.m. at 1664 12th St. S. and features food, music and games.

Evara Health receives $2M to help address Black maternal health crisis

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor and leadership from Evara Health, formerly the Community Health Centers of Pinellas, announced today that $2 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will go toward confronting the Black maternal health crisis. The funding will help improve health outcomes for patients at high risk for maternal morbidity and mortality. While awards were made across the country totaling more than $65 million, Evara was the sole Florida awardee. 

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