Best Of 2008

BEST PLACE TO CAMP: Pinellas Hope

Camping has never been this easy: free tents, free food, free showers, free sleeping mats, even free wireless. Last year, when Catholic Charities envisioned an outdoor encampment for Pinellas County’s homeless, they wanted to make sure the tent city was as comfortable as it was helpful. They’ve largely succeeded. The men and women who live at Pinellas Hope have more amenities than any KOA campground, much less a homeless shelter. Already 450 homeless have passed through the camp since it opened last December, and organizers say they’ve helped the majority of them find jobs and housing. Though Pinellas Hope is scheduled to close this month, homeless advocates hope they can move to a permanent space soon. Let’s hope they’ll be able to continue the amenities.