January 22, 2015 (Tampa, FL) 65,000 people in Pasco County live below poverty level. Just one emergency away from homelessness. 3,305 persons are homeless in Pasco County on any given day. 2,400 students enrolled in Pasco County are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless. It is not only job loss that could push families over the edge. Money is so tight that one day off work to take care of a sick child might mean a single mom cannot pay next month’s utility bill.
In 2013 Metropolitan Ministries developed and built Miracle Place® providing safe and dignified temporary housing for 100 homeless families and more than 250 homeless children of all ages. They also needed counseling and a community that they could call their own.
Since July 2014 more than 700 families in Pasco have reached out to Metropolitan Ministries for a housing solution. Soon these homeless families will have a safe haven modeled after MiraclePlace® in ‘Miracles for Pasco’—24 new supportive housing units for homeless families with children. Comprehensive programs will include: intensive case management, employment services, job training, children’s educational services, financial wellness and housing services to ensure long-term stability.
Metropolitan Ministries President and CEO Tim Marks said “This is a critical response to the crisis of family homelessness in Pasco. Up until now, all we could offer these families were basic resources. Now we will be able to offer them a safe place to call home, hot meals, and evidence-based practices in case management leading them to self-sufficiency.”
State lawmakers awarded a $1 million dollar grant and Pasco County earmarked $600,000 for the ‘Miracles in Pasco’ project out of federal Community Development Block Grant funds. This is enough funding for 12 units. Metropolitan Ministries’ goal is to raise $2 million for building the additional 12 units. Two corporate leaders have each pledged to match gifts up to $250,000 tripling every dollar donated.
Pasco County Administrator Michele Baker, Commissioner Kathryn Starkey, Representative Amanda Murphy, Senator Wilton Simpson, and Senator Mike Fasano are among the dignitaries expected to attend the ground breaking ceremony along with Metropolitan Ministries’ board member and CEO of Hyundai New Port Richey, Scott Fink.
The 24 new unit complex will enclose 8,730 square feet on half an acre. Below is a list of specific spaces:
§ Family Resource Center
§ Community Rooms
§ New Dining Hall (opened in September of 2014)
Miracles for Pasco will be located at Metropolitan Ministries Pasco campus at 3214 US Highway 19, Holiday, FL 34691. The first phase begins with the construction of 12 units and common space for training and case management. The Ministries hopes to eventually build out to 24 units in a phased approach providing a safe haven for 24 families and 75 children. Families will stay from three to six months. ‘Miracles for Pasco’ is expected to open in the fall of this year.
About Metropolitan Ministries:
Metropolitan Ministries is a non-profit, nondenominational, faith based organization that faithfully provides answers for poor and homeless families. Founded in 1972 by 13 downtown Tampa Churches, this community supported ministry has earned the trust and support of charitable individuals, volunteers, businesses, churches, synagogues, civic organizations, schools and collaborative partners. Metropolitan Ministries does not depend on government funding and is not a United Way agency. Today, Metropolitan Ministries offers a wide spectrum of supportive services to alleviate suffering, promote human dignity and instill self-sufficiency. As Metropolitan Ministries celebrates over 40 Years of Hope, the Ministries is becoming known beyond the Tampa Bay community as one of America’s most effective and innovative caregivers. Metropolitan Ministries main campus is located at 2002 North Florida Avenue, Tampa, FL 33602. For more information visit metromin.org or call 813-209-1000.