A Metropolitan Ministries campus in Pasco County is set to receive at least $4 million for expansion as part of the Florida Senate’s “sprinkle list.”
The funding addresses requests filed by Sen. Ed Hooper (SF 1348) and Rep. Amber Mariano (HB 3367) for expansion of an existing campus in Pasco County. The project seeks $6,988,800 total from the state.
The sprinkle list is what Capitol insiders call last minute budget items used to sweeten the pot and provide funding for some pet products.
Each year, legislative leaders withhold some money from the budgeting process until the end. As explained in 2015 by Jason Garcia for Florida Trend: The money can be “used to sprinkle one last helping of hometown projects into the budget in order to get a budget deal done.
While the “sprinkle list” offers $4 million in funding, about 57.2% of the requested amount, the non-profit may still receive an additional $2 million in funding as pushed in Senate budget offers.
The state funding would provide most of the monetary backing for the project, with an additional $1 million being given by private donors, according to the requests.
The funds would be used to expand an existing campus to support families in Pasco County who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, according to the request. The expansion would add 24 units of family housing, a child care center and family support center.
“The services offered in these buildings will prevent homelessness when possible, stabilize families and empower them to address barriers to self-sufficiency, including low education attainment levels, limited work experience, lack of access to childcare and transportation, poor credit, and past evictions,” according to the request.
The facilities’ services are expected to reach 15,530 individuals annually, and the request also emphasizes a growing need for such services from the economic impact of COVID-19.
The federal government has awarded Metropolitan Ministries contracts totaling $4,027,612 to provide direct assistance to households in need in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties during the pandemic, according to the requests. Such funds have been used to assist households impacted by COVID-19 with food, rental and utility assistance, motels and rapid rehousing.