Tikvah Suncoast, Inc., a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, based in Florida’s Tampa Bay area, is committed to providing an enhanced residential lifestyle, ongoing learning and personal growth opportunities for adults with special needs, who could not otherwise lead fully independent lives.
Although Tikvah Suncoast was founded on the tenets of Jewish living, Tikvah House will be “Opening Doors to Special Lives” on a non-denominational basis to deserving residents of all faiths.
Tikvah Suncoast is inspired by Jewish teachings which tell us we can all help complete the work of our Creator simply by saving one life at a time.
Read or print our June 2008 news release:
Tikvah Suncoast’s mission is to provide a safe, nurturing home environment (Tikvah House) for deserving adults with special needs whose loving parents will not always be there to care for them.
Tikvah gives these parents the peace of mind they deserve and the assurance their loved ones will be optimally cared for when they are no longer there to personally advocate on their behalf.
Tikvah means Hope in Hebrew. At Tikvah Suncoast, our abiding hope is for personal growth and enrichment for individuals who need (and deserve) a customized, optimal level of attention and care so they may achieve their highest potential and live a meaningful and productive life.
Our Special Lives
Tikvah Suncoast will serve a community of deserving individuals who require special attention and exceptional care.
Prospective residents will be screened for their strengths and deficits by professionals, working together to help assure that Tikvah can best meet the diverse needs of its residents.
While a waiting list for residency is anticipated, all applicants and their families are assured of the most equitable and fair manner of screening for their loved ones’ individual level of functionality, anticipated needs, services, and appropriateness within the Tikvah community.
Tikvah will serve individuals who have been diagnosed with a spectrum of disorders, including but not limited to Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome and other development disabilities.
Highly trained and experienced staff members will be on duty around the clock. Our resident-to-staff ratios will ensure quality care and supervision at all times.
Tikvah will stand as a beautiful, three-story, 10,000-square-foot residence at the southwest corner of 49th Street and Fifth Avenue North in St. Petersburg. The future site, acquired in mid-2008, is centrally located at the intersection of two primary thoroughfares, conveniently accessible to nearby shopping, medical facilities, Jewish facilities, programming, houses of worship of all faiths, as well as recreational activities – from Tampa Bay to the Gulf Beaches – conveniently reached via municipal transit right outside our front door.
Tailored to privacy and personal growth, individual studio/suites will accommodate approximately 20 male and female residents, who will be encouraged to pursue their respective interests and skills and given the opportunity to acquire new ones.
A sense of community, camaraderie and long-term friendship will be fostered throughout Tikvah. Community areas will provide residents with opportunities to congregate with their fellow housemates, family and friends. Both individuality and group interaction will be encouraged in a comfortable, home-like atmosphere.
Tikvah residents will be active in the community, have job responsibilities and volunteer opportunities, avocations and participate in cultural events (i.e., religious services, entertainment, field trips, concerts and cultural enrichment).
Tikvah has been optimally designed by the Garcia/Freid Corporation, one of Tampa Bay’s foremost architectural firms, headed by Ken Garcia and Larry Freid. The team has devoted their expertise to ensure the creation of an innovative structure, with ideally suited design, layout, facilities and amenities for the residents who will call Tikvah “home.”
Beatrice Fischman Mehl - Founder
Our Founder, Beatrice Fischman Mehl, and her late husband, Joseph M. Mehl, in honor of Beatrice's parents, Nathan and Miriam Fischman, wish to leave a living legacy of love for family, community and Judaism to those among us who need a helping hand to assure a quality lifestyle, an enriching environment, and personal growth opportunities within our community. Their blessed generosity shall live on for generations to come.
Ron Yogman - Chair
Our Chair, Ron Yogman, a Tampa Bay resident for nearly a half-century, longtime Jewish community activist and the father of an adult daughter with autism, has never been more energized than when his “faith” and his affinity for the “special needs” community have become one through the reality that is Tikvah. Ron earned a bachelors degree in journalism with honors from Michigan State University and following an initial career with the St. Petersburg Times as reporter/editor, has been self-employed since 1975 in the practice of Public Relations, Advertising, Non-Profit Advocacy and Community Relations.
Raising the Roof
In order to hasten the reality of Tikvah Suncoast, it is vital and imperative that our entire community band together to bestow tangible generosity to assure both the short-term reality and long-term viability that Tikvah shall thrive and survive in order to fulfill its life-affirming mission.
Initial generosity of both donations and longer-term pledges have made it possible for Tikvah Suncoast to acquire, unencumbered, its future “home site.” Now, it is more crucial than ever before that an outpouring of philanthropy from individuals, families, foundations and corporate citizens help not only the next “bricks and mortar” phase . . . but also step forward to adequately endow Tikvah Suncoast, so that it will be eminently prepared to function with solvency, in perpetuity.
Reality does not come without sacrifice and expense. It is projected that $3-million will be needed to build Tikvah, with a similar amount required to assure its sound fiscal future. We humbly, yet passionately, ask that you help us make this dream a reality in our lifetime. God’s work is incomplete, and it is up to each and every one of us to help leave our world a better place than we found it.
- A Grandparents Fear
- Our Hope for Esther
- A Story of Triumph
- A Poem for a Daughter
This poem was written by Ron Yogman, shortly after realization of his daughter Kandice’s lifetime diagnosis of autism – when she was about a year old (approx. 1979-80)
There’ll come a day,
A long time from now, I pray;
When Mom and Dad are old and gray
And no longer can show you the way.
What will you do?
Where will you go?
Who will you be, precious daughter?
I wish I could see forever.
I wish I could be there for you!
We’re destined to part,
No matter how sheltered,
No matter how smart;
But from your heart we need never depart!
Let me hold you, even scold you
While I am still able;
But wherever you go, whatever you do
You’ll always wear your ‘label’
Gaze into my eyes,
Try to hear my sighs,
The memory of your gorgeous face
I shall never surrender nor erase!
You’ve come so far,
Yet have much further to go;
I wish I could slow the hands of time
And teach you all I know.
Unlock your potential;
Shed your differential,
Be at peace with your world!