Volunteers of America Celebrates Founders Week!

120 years of service: March 8, 1896 — March 8, 2016


Since 1896, our ministry of service has supported and empowered America’s most vulnerable groups, including veterans, seniors, people with disabilities, at-risk youth, men and women returning from prison, homeless individuals and families, those recovering from addictions and many others. Our work touches the mind, body, heart – and ultimately the spirit – of those we serve, integrating our deep compassion with highly effective programs and services

In addition to its many diverse services, Volunteers of America is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit providers of quality affordable housing. The organization is also a major provider of skilled nursing care and health services. Volunteers of America operates senior living and care communities that offer independent and assisted living, as well as memory support. Volunteers of America is committed to providing these services to growing numbers of people in need in the future.

Volunteers of America has been a presence in Florida since 1914, when we first started serving persons with disabilities. Today, our programs have grown to meet the changing needs of Florida, such as homeless veterans; low-income seniors; persons with mental illnesses; low-income families; individuals in recovery from substance abuse; and more.

Volunteers of America was founded by Christian social reformers Ballington and Maud Booth as a movement to “reach and uplift” the American people.


Volunteers of America is one of the nation’s most comprehensive human services charities, offering programs for individuals, families and communities. In fiscal year 2014, Volunteers of America had total combined revenues of more than $1.17 billion and served more than 2 million people through the following service categories


  • Assistance with Basic Needs:  We help individuals and families overcome personal challenges to lead productive, healthy lives. Our approaches to intervention, rehabilitation and prevention work together to ensure that people in crisis don’t stay that way. During personal hardships and emergencies, we address immediate needs, offer long-term support when necessary and educate with prevention outreach programs.
  • Behavioral Health:  For more than 100 years, we have pioneered community-based, high-quality, integrated models of care and services that strive to meet the needs of the whole person, family and community. We provide innovative, results-driven Behavioral Health Services to assist those with mental health issues, substance abuse issues and those with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
  • Children, Youth and Families:  Volunteers of America provides high-quality, innovative services for disadvantaged and disconnected children and youth. Through our caring staff and dedicated volunteers, we ensure the social, emotional and academic development of young children, and empower older youth to be physically, emotionally and mentally healthy and ready to enter adulthood.
  • Community Outreach:  Every day, individuals and families who are at risk of homelessness, hunger and other life crises in our communities go unnoticed by society at large. But we notice, and offer a variety of community programs including information and referral, food and prepared meals, thrift stores, and collaborations with the faith community.
  • Formerly Incarcerated:  We provide services to help offenders successfully transition from prison to a productive life in the community. We help rehabilitate adult offenders and steer youth to establish new, positive directions for their lives. Our services include halfway houses, work-release programs, day reporting, diversion and pre-trial services, residential treatment, family supports, dispute resolution, and mediation services.
  • Homeless People:  Volunteers of America works to prevent and end homelessness through a range of support services including eviction prevention, emergency services, transitional housing and permanent affordable housing. Once we engage homeless individuals, including youth and families with children, we stay with them for as long as it takes to return them to self-sufficiency.
  • Housing:  As one of the nation’s largest nonprofit providers of quality, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households, we create and manage housing for the homeless, families with children, the elderly, and people with disabilities, including physical and mental disabilities and veterans and their families.
  • Mental Health:  We help people with chronic or severe mental illnesses successfully manage their lives through crisis counseling and “hotline” programs, case management, day programs and drop-in centers, transportation, residential care and supported independent living.
  • Older Adults:  Our services and programs promote health and independence for the elderly. We encourage seniors to be active and healthy through a host of support services. We provide senior centers and day programs, home repair and homemaker services, information and referral, Meals On Wheels, and group meal programs. We also provide transportation, companion services, protection against abuse and neglect, and case management services.
  • People with Disabilities:  We serve thousands of individuals with disabilities across the nation with specialized programs for autism, age-related problems and other challenges. Our services include in-home support, case management, day programs and supportive employment, specialized residential services, host homes or foster care, and supported living.
  • Senior Living and Care Communities:  We are a major provider of professional long-term nursing care for seniors and others coping with illness or injury. We offer a continuum of services that extends to the elderly and disabled people requiring long-term health support, including nursing care, assisted living, memory care, home health care, rehabilitation and much more.
  • Substance Abuse:  We work to prevent and eliminate substance abuse through residential and outpatient services, from prevention to treatment to long-term support.
  • Veterans Services:  Since World War I, Volunteers of America has provided direct services to veterans and connected them to other organizations that can help. Our support helps veterans overcome the barriers that stand between them and a stable, secure life. We provide housing, employment training, emergency shelter and much more.

Click Here to Donate Today!

Click the button above to donate via credit card or Paypal. Prefer to send a check?  You can make the check out to “Volunteers of America of Florida” and send it to: 405 Central Avenue, Suite 100, St. Petersburg, FL 33701-3866

Did you know that…

  • Volunteers of America branched off from The Salvation Army
  • Volunteers of America was founded in New York City
  • The original name was “God’s American Volunteers”
  • Ballington and Maud were born in England
  • Maud Booth’s nickname among prison folk was “Little Mother of the Prisons”
  • Maud Booth’s autobiography was titled “A Rector’s Daughter in Victorian England”
  • Volunteers of America offers services in 46 states plus Puerto Rico
  • Volunteers of America opened stores during the Great Depression called “Penny Pantries” where every item cost—you guessed it—only one penny.
  • Volunteers of America’s first nursing care facility for seniors was opened in 1970 in Maplewood, Minnesota (Maplewood Care Center)
  • “The Lord My Banner” was Volunteers of America’s first motto.
  • Maud Booth’s maiden name was Maud Elizabeth Charlesworth.
  • The Booths’ daughter’s name was Theodora.
  • Volunteers of America’s first headquarters were a few rooms at the Bible House on the corner of Fourth Avenue and 8th Street in Manhattan.
  • Volunteers of America’s national headquarters was located in New York City from 1896 to 1979, when it was moved to Mandeville, Louisiana, near New Orleans. It moved to Alexandria, Virginia, in 1996.
  • Volunteers of America has provided services directly aimed at returning war veterans since the end of World War I (we served veterans from the start, including those from the Civil War).
  • Volunteers of America began operating in prisons in 1898 with the first being a 42-bed facility near St. Paul, Minnesota.
  • Volunteers of America spearheaded community salvage drives during World War II, collecting millions of pounds of scrap metal, rubber and fiber for the war effort.
  • The title track of Jefferson Airplane’s 1969 album “Volunteers” was inspired by the lead singer being awoken by a Volunteers of America truck picking up furniture.
  • Two First Ladies of the United States have been presented by Volunteers of America with its Booth Award. Lady Bird Johnson received the award in 1963 for her efforts to beautify America, and Nancy Reagan received the award in 1987.
  • More than 25,000 people nationwide live in Volunteers of America affordable housing.
  • Nationally, Volunteers has over 16,000 employees and 60,000 volunteers
  • More than 2 million people are served each year in 400 communities