The Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative held the grand opening for the Community Housing Solutions Center on Thursday. What makes this different from other homeless shelters is it gives both single men and women housing for four months - with the belief that a stable place to live is the first step to getting them off the streets.
It's being touted as the first of its kind in Hillsborough County.
The East Tampa center, which has 75 beds, has been open since December. It has living quarters, an atrium, a library, a room for health services, and rooms for GED classes and job training.
James Cockayne has been living there the past three weeks. He works part time for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Tampa Bay Lightning, who referred him to the center. Despite having two jobs, he doesn't make enough to get by. "This place has afforded me the opportunity to safely look for work, to continue to go to my present job so that I can stockpile my money--build up my bank account," he said. "Just in the short three weeks I've been here, I've come quite a long ways to achieving that." Cockayne says he wants to leave the center and have a place of his own by the beginning of next month. The center is located at 3630 North 50th St. Tampa