Sad, sad day: Collins Center closing

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The Collins Center for Public Policy, a non-profit that has worked on a number of public policy issues from mortgage foreclosure mediation to voting rights and community health, is shutting down, a release from the center’s board said Thursday.

The center is separate and completely unaffiliated with the Leroy Collins Institute at Florida State University. “This is a sad, somber day for the Collins Center, the causes it espoused so valiantly, the numerous people and organizations the center helped and those who’ve fought to save it from a fiscal abyss that proved too deep to overcome,” the board’s chairman, Merrett Stierheim, said.

The financial death blow to the center was the cancellation by Fannie Mae of its financial counseling and mediation contract with the center. The contract had been the center’s main source of revenue until it ended in December. “We have eliminated most positions, closed several offices, and negotiated equipment leases and other obligations, but it has not been sufficient to survive, the center’s president, Dr. Ann Henderson, said. “Our remaining tasks during the dissolution process are to settle as much as possible the debt to our remaining creditors and lessors and to wind down the operations.”

Hearing news about the Collins Center closing, my only question is which VERY lucky organization will get to hire former staffer Tony Carvajal.

Material from the News Service of Florida was used in this post.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.