Showpeople's Winter Quarters (Circus and Traveling Shows Retirement Project)

SWQ ResidentsWEST REGION
FCLF LOAN $150,000
ACQUISITION / REHABILITATION LOAN
up to 10 units of affordable housing

There are 50-60 circuses and between 300-400 carnivals in the United States, accounting for nearly 300,000 people on the move touring America with circuses, carnivals, race car circuits and other venues. Traveling show personnel sometimes find their travels permanently or temporarily halted because of age or health problems.

There is a strong need for a safe haven at affordable prices for these individuals. Many communities in Florida that accommodate mobile homes and RVs are either full or no longer able to offer affordable space. Many of those who have called such facilities have heard the answer "no."

The Showpeople's Winter Quarters, or SWQ (formerly known as Circus and Traveling Shows Retirement Project, or CATS) was formed to explore affordable housing needs for this group who are often on limited incomes. The goal was to obtain land and establish a community where show people can live and share their tradition. SWQ envisions a facility that can safely accommodate space to park rigs, store equipment and/or animals at an affordable price with a related support system in a community of show people.

A loan from Florida Community Loan Fund (FCLF) helped SWQ purchase acreage in Hillsborough County, and here the organization will establish the Showpeople's Winter Quarters. The land includes one single family home which will provide a home for on-site managers. Also included are pads for mobile homes or RVs and additional land. The project will provide space for up to 10 households.

SWQ is patterned after a similar facility in Texas. The organization is supported and encouraged by several local Florida organizations, including the Community Foundation of Sarasota.

View more photos of SWQ (formerly known as CATS) on FCLF's Flickr Page.

Photo: A few of the residents at Showpeople's Winter Quarters gather for the opening of the community center.

"I appreciate FCLF for lending in rural areas, where many other lenders are exiting. From the first moment we spoke with FCLF staff, we felt we had a partner." – Jamie Kerr, President, AMCS Dev.

Griffin Heights

"FCLF understood our context, embraced the project vision, and were willing to make an investment that others deemed as too risky." – Lynn Brockwell-Carey, Executive Director

Brevard Neighborhood Development Coaliti…

"We consider FCLF a valued partner and strong advocates for low-income communities and families. We look forward to many more years of working together." – Jennifer Westerbeck, Vice President

US Bancorp CDC

"Our relationship with FCLF provides the capital to achieve long-lasting impact." – Terri Murray, Exec Dir

Neighborhood Renaissance

"FCLF is a difference maker! Their team provides solutions to bring about real change in a community." – Tim Marks, President & CEO

Metropolitan Ministries

"We look forward to continuing our successful relationship with FCLF and working together to meet the needs of our communities." – Nancy Merolla, VP/CRA Officer

Florida Community Bank

"FCLF made it possible for us to provide many special needs and low-income students with the educational services that they need." – Charlotte Tollefson, Director & Founder

Woodlawn Community Academy

"FCLF understands and is a part of what we are doing: helping families have the American dream of owning a home." – Isaac Simhon, Executive Director

Housing Programs, Inc.

"BankUnited understands the challenges facing our communities; we applaud FCLF's efforts. Thank you for making our community a better place to live." – Katrina Wright, VP Comm. Dev.

BankUnited

"FCLF plays a significant role in sustaining vibrant and thriving communities. We are pleased to support your ongoing community based efforts." – Ernie Diaz, South Florida Market President

TD Charitable Foundation

“We cannot thank FCLF enough for this partnership, creating permanent housing for our neighbors in need, and their commitment to Florida communities.” – Shannon Nazworth, President & CEO

Ability Housing

"Our partnership with FCLF allows us to build an attractive, state of the art facility that patients, staff, and community will be proud of." – Bakari Burns, President-CEO

Orange Blossom Family Health

"We are delighted to partner with you to serve those most in need in our communities." – Eileen S. Coogan, President & CEO

Allegany Franciscan Ministries

“FCLF addresses local community needs, which aligns with our core values. We appreciate your commitment to our communities.” – Mellissa Slover-Athey, Comm Reinv Ofcr

CenterState Bank

"We appreciate the accomplishments your organization attains." - Robert Sucher, Executive VP

Sabadell United Bank

"FCLF has a keen knowledge of Florida challenges & opportunities. We are confident our investment will be used to improve lives." – Kathleen Rizzo Young, Sr. VP, Community Development

HSBC Bank USA, N.A.

"We couldn’t have pulled this project together without FCLF as partners. This is the start of great work in Jacksonville’s historic Springfield district." – Kevin Gay, Exec. Director

Operation New Hope

"We commend the important work of your organization, are glad to support its efforts." – Beverly Dabney

JPMorgan Chase Foundation

"Without the FCLF initial loan to purchase land, we might not have been able to move forward with farmworker housing." – Peter Routsis-Arroyo, CEO, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice

Casa San Juan Bosco

"Thank you to our friends at FCLF. Your staff has been patient and helpful. We'll make you proud!" – Bill Lazar, Executive Director

St. Johns Housing Partnership

FCLF Videos

View video testimonials from FCLF partners.
  • Florida Community Loan Fund and Orange Blossom Family Health, Bringing Healthcare to FL Communities
  • Florida Community Loan Fund and R.E.A.C.H. Strengthening Communities in South Florida
  • Florida Community Loan Fund helped Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County with New Markets Tax Credits
  • FCLF and Operation New Hope, Restoring Jacksonville’s Springfield Community
  • FCLF and SW Florida Collaboratory, Bringing Stability to a Fort Myers Neighborhood
  • FCLF and CDC of Tampa, Stability in East Tampa Neighborhoods
  • FCLF and The Transition House: Building Blocks for U.S. Veterans
  • FCLF and Wendover Housing: Building Blocks for An Aging Population
  • FCLF and CFHC: Building Blocks for Low Income Healthcare
  • FCLF, Reflecting on the Past, Shaping the Future
Our Vision Opportunity and dignity exist for every person and community in Florida.
Our Mission Our expertise and capital make projects successful and help organizations improve lives and communities.