The 21st annual Season of Sharing fundraising campaign kicks off today during a time of hardship for thousands of local families and individuals. The ongoing pandemic and a red-hot real estate market driving skyrocketing rents and exorbitant home prices have put many on the economic edge.
“It’s just become absolutely unaffordable for people who are living here,” said Chris Johnson, CEO of the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness.
Suncoast Partnership has seen a 213% spike in calls from families seeking help. Particularly hard hit, Johnson added, are year-round residents with jobs in the service industry, the bulk of the local workforce.
With the rise in housing costs, minor setbacks can prove catastrophic. Many local families encountering unexpected expenses ranging from car repairs to medical emergencies are finding themselves in a downward spiral of past-due rent or utility payments that quickly becomes insurmountable.
That’s when Season of Sharing steps in.