Program celebrates 50 years helping Pinellas residents

The Pinellas Opportunity Council is changing lives by giving a hand-up to those who need it most for 50 years. 

Their remarkable service to the community is what's right with Tampa Bay.

Terica Cooper and her children have been through some tough times.

"[There were] times where me and my kids haven't had anything to eat," said Terica. "I didn't have any place to stay. Me and my kids were in my car."

Thanks to Pinellas Opportunity Council, things are looking up for Terica and her family. She just graduated from nursing school.

"It's great. I'm making more money. I'm able to do more things with my children," she said.

The organization uses federal, state, and private funds to provide resources to low-income residents to help put them on a path to self- efficiency.

Carolyn King runs POC.

"Bills get behind, car breaks down, any number of things and that's when we can step in and provide assistance in those areas," King explained.

The program has helped thousands of citizens get back on their feet.

Sharecia Hightower said she got the financial help she needed while studying for the nurse's state board exam.

"Their goal is to help you succeed and they do whatever they can to get you where you are trying to go," she said. 

The program is fostering hope for those who need a hand-up.