Dolores Castaldo made a home for people who needed one

Aug 06, 2019 397

BY: Kristen Hare

David Beede was among the first to visit his future home on 72nd Ave. N, so of course, he got to pick his bedroom. He chose one on the west side. For the first time in years, Phyllis Beede felt relief. Her son had a safe, structured place to live in St. Petersburg, where he could avoid the cycle of hospital, homelessness and jail that so many people living with mental illness face.

For the next 18 years, Benedict Haven was home. He lived with seven other men who also had severe mental illnesses and needed around-the-clock care. They got it, plus outings, family dinners and their own recliners, thanks to the work of Dolores Castaldo. Mrs. Castaldo helped open Benedict Haven in 2000 because she hadn’t been able to find the right home for her son, who has schizophrenia.

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