Lakerart.htm Posted Dec 24, 2007 Return to DSM Homepage
The Laker, Pasco County, Fl -- December 19, 2007
Joe Potter Staff Writer
CITY — City Commissioners here have unanimously approved designating January
as "Help the Homeless" month and are encouraging city residents and
business people to aid in the effort.
A proclamation issued to Journey Village president and co-founder Denny Mihalinec on Tuesday, Dec. 11, said there are 1,300 homeless people in Pasco County with 225 of them being located in the Dade City, Trilby, Lacoochee and Trilacoochee area.
purpose of Journey Village, which is scheduled to open in eastern Pasco County
in April 2008, is to help house and train homeless people until they are able to
obtain their own housing, said Mihalinec, who is
a Ridge Manor resident.
proclamation said Dade City residents are encouraged during January to
"donate their time and skills, along with monetary donations, to support
local homeless projects."
Village will be a transitional housing center for homeless people in eastern
Pasco County that will be designed to help those displaced veterans and others
who have no roof over their head but the stars, Mihalinec said.
is some hope for the homeless in western Pasco County because 184 emergency beds
are available where they may stay there. However, there are an estimated 1,300
homeless people in Pasco County, and the resources in eastern Pasco County are
particularly limited, said Mihalinec.
is currently seeking 501(c)(3) status from the federal government, Mihalinec
said. Obtaining 501(c)(3) status will enable Journey Village to apply for state
and federal grants and to accept charitable donations. Some sociology students
from Saint Leo University are helping to prepare an application for the
said he hopes to obtain five acres of donated property in eastern Pasco,
preferably in the Trilby or Lacoochee area, where Journey Village can be
developed. Mihalinec estimated it would cost about $160,000 and take about three
years to get the village fully up and running. Those funds are anticipated to be from a combination of
grants and donations.
people would be able to stay at an intake center at Journey Village until they
found a job. They would then be encouraged
to save their work money while they stayed in a small structure, comparable to a
hunter's cabin, on the grounds of Journey Village. A single person would occupy a 300 to 400-square-foot
structure while a couple or families with children would have larger
temporary homes would cost between $2,000 and $10,000 to build and would contain
a bed and a sink and a toilet. They would rent for approximately $25 per month,
enabling occupants to save money to eventually move into a home or apartment.
occupying the temporary houses would not be able to drink alcoholic beverages,
could not hold parties, and must either be employed or actively seeking
Village •would also include a playground, church, and shower room, all of
which would be run by volunteers.
to becoming interested in establishing Journey Village, Mihalinec founded the
now non-profit Greater Trilby Community Association in Trilby. He was that
organization's first president. The GTCA helps disadvantaged residents of the
communities of Trilby, Lacoochee and Trilacoochee. .Also, Mihalinec founded an
aluminum can recycling program for the local East Pasco Habitat for Humanity
Chapter. The program was fashioned after other successful recycling programs
other Habitat chapters had been operating worldwide.
addition, Mihalinec was instrumental in developing a trailhead at the southern
end of the Withlacoochee State Trail and assisted in forming a Crime Watch
program in Trilby.
more -information about Journey Village, call Mihalinec at (352) 583-4375 or