“Still No Room at the Inn” brings joy to St. Pete


For many people, particularly in the St. Petersburg area, homelessness has become a frightening reality. An article written by the Tampa Bay Times revealed that the amount of homeless people in the county has risen to a staggering 7,000. As the holiday season fast approaches, times can seem especially hopeless for those living without a roof over their heads.

“Still No Room in the Inn” is a caroling program sponsored by the organization Celebrate Outreach!, a group with the goal of bringing an end to poverty and homelessness. According to the Celebrate Outreach! website, the caroling will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, December 11th, by the Unitarian Universalist Church of St. Petersburg. Carolers will go through the downtown St. Pete area and sing to the homeless, as well as elderly residents in a retirement center. The caroling will end at 9:00 p.m., at the manger scene around 2nd Avenue North and Beach Drive. Refreshments such as hot chocolate and pastries will be available for those involved to enjoy.

Mr. Stewart, teacher of subjects such as AP Art History, Literature and the Arts, English, and Creative Writing, is a veteran of the “Still No Room in the Inn” program.

“One benefit that I receive from the caroling and also from helping homeless people is it gives me some perspective,” said Stewart. “It allows me to always think of people who are not in my immediate circle and understand life—the world, politics, religion, everything—in terms of them.”

Stewart has had touching experiences thanks to his involvement in the program, one of them being particularly moving.

“I came in to the shelter and this woman said ‘You were my teacher in high school’. I ended up helping a former student, and I had no idea,” Stewart said.