Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Jericho Road Ministries adds jobs that help heal

Jericho Road Ministries client Israel David Goris, 29, of Tampa does yard work at its thrift shop in Brooksville.  He is part of a new work program.


Jericho Road Ministries client Israel David Goris, 29, of Tampa does yard work at its thrift shop in Brooksville. He is part of a new work program.


Jericho Road Ministries is all about helping the down-and-out create new lives after substance abuse, minimal law breaking or the loss of a home.

Now the non-profit agency has added a new self-help component to its rehabilitation program of Christian living, self-esteem building and re-entry to society.

The new program, called Jericho Community Services, gives those in need of temporary work jobs by offering a wide variety of services to individuals and businesses in the community. These services include landscape maintenance, mulching, pressure washing driveways and mobile homes, construction cleanup, gutter cleaning, and debris hauling.

The idea, says Chaplain Bruce Gimbel, is to give to people jobs and experience so they can enter the workforce with employable skills and resumes. In a stressed economy, jobs for the poor are almost non-existent, he said.

Many employers are skeptical about hiring workers who have had addiction problems or prior arrests, Gimbel said.

Some of the clients already have skills to perform these tasks. Others are being trained.

Gimbel says his agency's service fees are compatible with local businesses. Jericho, he said, does not intend to compete unfairly with professionals.

Jericho clients, typically a crew of two working full-time, five days a week, receive appropriate pay. A minimum portion of fees for the work is reserved for maintaining program equipment, Gimbel said, adding that the program is not devised as a profit maker.

John Mitten, Jericho's board president, said, "It's for someone struggling to get back in our community. I think of the program as a citizen restorative initiative. It's a great first step for those clients to get back into the work psyche.

"If they sit in one place too long, they get discouraged," explained John Mitten, Jericho's board president. "This (program) will reintegrate them into our community."

He added, "It's a win, win, win. The people in the community need services; clients have an opportunity to get a job; the money we receive from it helps to fund the ministry."

Ministry clients are urged to complete a 12-month rehabilitation, counseling, job training and spiritual growth program. They advance from phase to phase, passing several hurdles along the way, Mitten said. "Those who graduate do fairly well," he said.

Jericho has invested around $30,000 to purchase a truck, trailer and other equipment into this new venture. The funds came from its thrift store profits and from donations. Mitten noted the agency got some good prices from local businesses that have supported Jericho Road over the past 10 years.

So far, community response has been encouraging. Gimbel said the agency booked 15 jobs in May and between 20 to 25 in the first half of June. Some customers, both businesses and individuals, have signed on for weekly services.

The chaplain said, "We have other clients interested in being a part of this. If the community continues to bring us business, we would involve more clients and put another truck on the road."

Beth Gray can be contacted at

fast facts

Jericho Ministries

More information on offered services in Hernando, Pasco and Citrus counties, fees and job bookings is available by calling Jericho Road Ministries at 352-799--2912, extension 107.

Jericho Road Ministries adds jobs that help heal 06/30/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 8:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Man, I miss Planet Simeon


    Who needs a total eclipse of the sun when Simeon Rice, former Bucs sack king and cosmic force, is in town?

  2. Florida education news: HB 7069, solar eclipse, courtesy bus rides and more


    DISCORD: Employees of the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association accuse the union of "less than fair and equitable" working conditions.

  3. Marina at Hudson Beach poised to become 24-unit condominium-hotel


    HUDSON — One of the mainstay businesses at Hudson Beach is poised for redevelopment into a 24-unit condominium-hotel.

  4. Eclipse forecast: Partly cloudy but little rain across Tampa Bay


    Eclipse Day in Tampa Bay should carry typical summertime conditions, meaning some popup clouds could obscure the historic event.