When Poverello was established in 1986, its mission—and that of Father Bill—was to make sure that those South Florida men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS were fed. Father put his talk into his walk, many times delivering food out of his car to make sure that their nutritional needs were met.
Nearly three decades later, although budget cuts have made it necessary for the Poverello Center to reduce client services, the organization’s mission and focus haven’t changed. With the assistance of the City of Wilton Manors, Poverello moved its Friends Fitness Center to a new and larger location.
CEO Tom Smith says, “We have made the gym grow from 2,000 square feet to almost 4,000 square feet. The clients are so happy to have more space. We now have a central reception area, and we have added office space that is available for other non-profits and not-for-profit organizations,” which he notes includes phone and internet capability.
Smith says that Poverello has experienced the larger economic crunch, as well as the additional costs of relocation, but he is optimistic. “It’s been a tough year with the expenses of the move, the build out—and we had to let four staff members go due to the economy, but we are on our way back. The Thrift Store income is increasing, and the whole team has pulled together. We will make it,” he adds. “As we grow, our mission will include more individuals with other life threatening illnesses.”
Poverello will host its 22nd Annual Bowl-A-Thon on Saturday, August 11, at the Sawgrass Lanes in Tamarac.
Complimentary coach services will be provided to and from the event.
For more information, including organizing a team, visit poverello.org.