This Christmas, Area Homeless Get a Good Night’s Sleep
DECEMBER 19, 2018
Clearwater, Florida – Many of the homeless at the St. Vincent de Paul CARES CARE Center, located near downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, received an early Christmas gift this year. Their old, worn-out portable mattresses were replaced with 70 new, durable and much more comfortable mattresses. This generous gift came from several Tampa Bay area companies, Smartwerks®, a developer of point of sale solutions, their parent company Tyler Net®, a retail solutions company also located in Clearwater, Florida, and Evo Payments®, an industry leading credit card payments processor located in Tampa.
CARE Center Case Manager, Wes Bryan said, “These are awesome. They will be comfortable and warm for the people who are sleeping in the shelter.”
The idea for this generous gift came about when Patrick Kunish, Smartwerks’ Director of Sales, learned about the growing problems of homelessness in the Tampa Bay area. Kunish was attending the Las Vegas Market, one of the country’s largest trade shows, and met Scott Smalling, a sleep industry veteran and the founder of the non-profit Relief Bed®. Smalling explained how Relief Bed was trying to address the problem of a good night’s sleep for thousands of homeless people across the United States, because most spend the night sleeping on the ground or the floor of a shelter.
When Kunish returned home, he knew this was a cause his company could get behind. Over their 30 plus years of being in business, Smartwerks and parent company Tyler Net have quietly supported many local nonprofit organizations. For this year and into next year, they are directing their efforts on homeless shelters in the Tampa Bay area and helping these people try to get a good night’s rest.
Kunish contacted St. Vincent de Paul CARES to see if Relief Bed’s innovative shelter mattresses would help with their mission. After a tour of the CARE Center, Kunish saw firsthand how many people sleep on the concrete or floor every night. “The mats we were using,” said Marilynn Brownlee, Director of Communications and Outreach for St. Vincent de Paul CARES, “were aged and hard to store. Our supply of those mats were also dwindling because of age. These new mats will bring comfort to our clients, who sleep on the floor or concrete. The durable covering makes them easy to clean and much easier for our limited staff to care for.”
Kunish received substantial support from EVO Payments®, and with their commitment, Smartwerks and Tyler Net agreed to donate 70 Relief Bed mattresses to help the CARE Center better serve SVdP’s clients. Smartwerks has also pledged to replace mattresses as they get worn out in the future. The first step in their latest initiative has proven to be a successful one, and Brownlee added, “We look forward to a rich partnership with Smartwerks, Tyler Net and their network of conscientious businesses.”
Working together with EVO Payments and Tyler Net, Smartwerks is making this Christmas more comfortable for local homeless adults and children, so they can get a good night’s rest.
About St. Vincent de Paul CARES
Merrell T. Dickey, MA, MDiv, Chief Development Officer
St. Vincent de Paul CARES
384 15th Street N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33705
About Relief Bed International
About EVO Payments
About Smarwerks, Inc.
Patrick Kunish, Director of Sales