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Wednesday, Sep 20, 2017
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Future homeless shelter gets $100K boost

HOLIDAY - Metropolitan Ministries' plans for a homeless shelter in Pasco County got a boost Thursday when Generations Christian Church pledged $100,000 for the cause. Church leaders donated a $50,000 check Thursday morning that will help pay for renovations to the kitchen facilities at the charity's outreach center on U.S. 19 and the new residential program. "It's not an emergency shelter," said the Rev. Dan Campbell, director of development for Metropolitan Ministries' Pasco mission. "It's a transitional program that will help families move from homelessness to self-sufficiency. It will be the first in Pasco County." Metropolitan Ministries' Pasco Outreach Center each week serves more than 600 people who are homeless and struggling. 
The county has the second largest homeless population in Florida. The residential program is modeled after the Miracle Place housing initiative at the agency's Tampa location. The plan calls for a 20-unit transitional housing facility for families. It also would duplicate the Tampa facility's successful Inside the Box Cafe, an onsite restaurant operated by residents and open to the public. The cafe provides residents income and job training as well as counseling. Last year, auto dealer Scott Fink and his wife donated $100,000 for the transitional housing program. Campbell said there have been numerous smaller donations as well, but he estimates it will cost up to $1.5 million to build the facility. "Leadership commitments from partners like Generations Christian Church make it possible for us to expand and serve the growing need in Pasco County," said Metropolitan Ministries CEO Morris Hintzman.  "The dedicated giving of their church members provides the resources to change lives in this community." In addition to the daily outreach and assistance it offers to those seeking help, Metropolitan Ministries' Pasco Outreach Center operates a summer camp, an after-school program and a GED class in partnership with Pasco County schools and hosts the county's new Mobile Medical Care Unit.

lkinsler@tampatrib.com (813)371-1852 Twitter: @lkinslerTBO

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