Collective Infrastructure & Understanding

The 2020 goal is to overcome the reality that taxpayers spend $700 million per year on poverty related costs for South St. Petersburg residents; and only 3% of it goes toward poverty reduction. 2020 objectives are to raise $78 million to expand poverty-reduction programs; and to prove the cost effectiveness of investing to reduce poverty.

Partners’ Impact since 2014:
$7.7 million in new funding raised by or with the support of the 2020 team
31 organizations supported to raise funds

2020 Fund: Small Sums, Big Impact

The 2020 team launched the 2020 Fund, housed at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, to show that small amounts of money, strategically used and creatively combined with social capital, can go a long way to accelerate progress. The 2020 Fund has made 15 sub-grants to three priority program areas, which were matched and aligned with 15 contributions direct-to-service-providers by 2020 partners.

Investing in pathways out of poverty: Too many people are trapped in poverty because they can’t afford to cover the expenses tied to their plans to take their lives to a next level. Costs such as training & exam fees to qualify for higher-paying jobs, extra child care, car repairs, and gas money to travel to school or a new job can too often prevent people from completing a path out of poverty. The 2020 team has so far raised $214,380 to cover these small but prohibitive costs via sub-grants for 180 people enrolled in partners’ poverty-exit programs. The top 3 uses of help from 2020 fundraising have been education costs (e.g., training & certification fees and books); health insurance premiums and medicines; and utility bills, such as electricity.

Cases in Point:
Lisa and her two kids were struggling to make it by on child support, unable to save up to reach her goal of being a Licensed Practical Nurse. Funding from Bon Secours engaged the staff at Pinellas Opportunity Council’s 2020 Program to cover Lisa’s CPR certification & training, required finger-printing and background screening, uniforms, a car repair and groceries until she landed a job.

Jakayla was unemployed when POC helped her finish C.N.A. training and certification. In addition to training & exam fees, Bon Secours funding helped with temporary child care, work uniforms and transportation to help Jakayla get on her feet.


Lisa now earns $17 per hour full-time, lifting her family to 181% of poverty level.