The Angelus was founded in 1979 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Within a few short months, The Angelus became “home” for eight children, ranging in age from 2 to 12 years. The home was supported by State Funding, but the founders continued to work at night to supplement the income.
The Angelus then became a non-profit organization so they could begin to accept charitable gifts. The community responded with financial as well as volunteer help.
The Angelus Moves To Pasco County
By 1985, The Angelus had 14 children entrusted to their care and the home in St. Petersburg was bursting at the seams.
A search for land began. Seventeen acres of beautiful wooded land was obtained in Pasco County which included a small two bedroom house. The first Angelus country home was completed in 1986 and in 1987 the second home was built by volunteers to accommodate all the children in St. Petersburg. Once reunited, The Angelus continued to grow.
A swimming pool was donated by two concerned men in the community, another home was built by a handicapped friend in 1996 and Charlie’s Lodge was built in 1999 by 600 volunteers to honor our good friend, Charlie Daniels.
Lastly, the pavilion was built in 2001 and is used by many groups in the community for social events as well as fund-raisers for The Angelus.
The Angelus Develops Day Programs
After nine years has passed since The Angelus was founded, and the children have grown to adults, no longer able to go to school, the need for a day program became evident. With a donated portable classroom, The Angelus Day Program opened in 1988.
Several adults in the community began attending daily classes from 9 to 3 each day, along with The Angelus adults. These folks are also in wheelchairs, living at home with their aging parents, traveling daily from surrounding communities. In one short year, the portable classroom became too crowded and once again, the Board of Directors formed a construction committee.
In July of 1990, a new 50 x 100 feet building was completed with the help of volunteer community labor. As many as 40 masons gathered and the walls went up in one day!! The Day Program expanded to include classes in computer skills, arts and crafts, miniature horse care, physical fitness, gardening, swimming and home economics.
A swimming pool was donated and this proved to be the best therapy for all. In 1996, the wood-shop was built with a Community Development Block Grant from Pasco County. Two vans were received from another CDBG making transportation feasible for the program attendees.
In 2006, a generous benefactor built a twin 50 x 100 building to expand our services and make room for more. A multi-sensory room was added as well as a hot house for our gardening class. A large generator was donated and this building serves as a hurricane shelter, not only for The Angelus residents, but for the people in the community that require special needs. These additions allowed us to serve 40 individuals and the program is off and running.
The Angelus Today
The Angelus now has 5 group homes with the ability to serve 39 individuals. The adult day program has grown with the capabilities of serving 45 persons. We have the space, the buildings, and the personnel to serve individuals require total care, but our hands are tied by lack of funding. Over the years numerous budget cuts are making it almost impossible for us to provide all the services we are capable of.
Many people are waiting to be included in the government Medicaid Waiver system, but the wait is often 5 years long!! Presently, the funding provides 76% of our costs leaving the remaining 24% as donations, bequests and gifts from our friends. With the continued help of the community, the goals and philosophy of The Angelus will be maintained and the quality of life for the people who cannot help themselves will be assured.
The Angelus Group Homes and Facilities
The Angelus group home facilities are located in Hudson, Florida on 17 beautiful wooded acres. Not an institution, The Angelus is a group of homes that are all located on the same rural, nature rich grounds, designed to allow individuals with physical challenges the opportunity to safely visit their neighbors and friends.
With approximately 3 miles of sidewalks and paved roads on the grounds, individuals in wheelchairs can safely get around among the five group homes and to visit other buildings and their friends on the grounds to participate in events.
The grounds also include the main office building, a solar and propane heated indoor pool, Lake Little John, a community garden and a Pavilion on the property used for various events such as concerts, picnics, family gatherings, weddings and more.
The Angelus has 5 group homes with the ability to serve 40 individuals. All homes at The Angelus are co-ed, but the individual bedrooms are either male or female.
The group homes at The Angelus are truly homes. Meals are cooked in each home. Proper nutrition is important, here at The Angelus. Menus are approved by a licensed dietitian. Residents each have their own personal space and most have roommates of the same sex.
Berkley Center is The Angelus day program facility. It is a 5000 square foot facility that is equipped with a multi-sensory room, a computer lab, a green house for gardening and private changing rooms.
Our Angelus Day Program services and activities are person centered and include life and personal skills, arts and crafts, gardening, swimming, earth science, motor skills, technology and computer skills, personal and oral hygiene, personal assistance and frequent re-positioning.
The Angelus grounds includes the popular Garlan Williams Pavilion used by many in the community.
Built in 2001, this covered structure is 4000 square feet and is used through the year by groups in the community for social events as well as for fund-raisers for The Angelus.
The Garlan Williams Pavilion was named after a great friend of The Angelus. “Gar” was also a leading member of our Board of Directors as well as the organizer of the Charlie Daniels events for over 15 years.
Events at the Garlan Williams Pavilion include picnics, parties, concerts and other events like weddings and private gatherings.
One of the five group homes on the property at The Angelus, Charlie’s lodge is a log style home named for long-time supporter and fundraiser for The Angelus, Country Music Artist Charlie Daniels.
It is a 3 bedroom home that is licensed for 6 individuals and is also home to musical events, especially around the holidays.