Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Jericho Road Ministries hopes to expand homeless shelters

BROOKSVILLE — The number of homeless and destitute men and women is increasing in Hernando County, and Jericho Road Ministries is taking steps to meet their needs.

The nonprofit Christian organization, which has operated a men's shelter for 10 years and added a women's shelter two years ago, is anticipating a state Homeless Housing Assistance grant of more than $400,000.

The money would finance the construction of a 16-bedroom, 48-bed dormitory for men at 1163 Howell Ave., plus an addition to the two-story Mary's House there that would include a commercial kitchen, dining room, laundry, bathroom, offices and storage.

Men would occupy the expanded site on Howell while women would move to Jericho Road's current men's shelter on Mondon Hill Road. That facility provides space for 14 clients, sufficient for the usual two to three women seeking shelter at any time, said executive director Bruce Gimbel.

The men's shelter has a waiting list of potential clients, said Gimbel, a pastor.

The ministry's first hurdle is obtaining approval for a special zoning exception for the 3.3-acre site on Howell Avenue. The exception request is to provide housing for 48 clients, up from the six now approved.

The request goes before the county's Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday and, if recommended for approval, then to the County Commission.

Gimbel said letters of intent went out to Howell Avenue neighbors recently. As of midweek, no response. However, a resident farther away on Howell has stopped by intermittently to laud Jericho Road for the services it's providing to the community, he noted.

Traffic shouldn't be a concern, Gimbel said, because residents are not allowed to have personal transportation and are mainly restricted to the property.

Some clients have addiction problems, Gimbel acknowledged, but they must abide by stringent rules if they check into the shelter's programs.

The toughest is an 11-month New Life Program, in which they learn responsibility and job skills. Ten graduated from the program last year, Gimbel said.

The ministry's shelter budget amounts to about $300,000 to $400,000 a year, funded by donations and money raised through its three thrift shops.

If the necessary approvals come through, plus the grant, which could happen in December, Gimbel said ground could be broken for the construction in January or February. Opening could be targeted for early next summer.

The director added: "We are thankful to the city and the county for allowing us to provide the services to the homeless and needy in our community." As for the new project, he said, "We hope God continues to open doors so it can happen."

Beth Gray can be contacted at graybethn@earthlink.net.

Jericho Road Ministries hopes to expand homeless shelters 11/06/10 [Last modified: Saturday, November 6, 2010 12:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Comedian and activist Dick Gregory dies at 84

    Nation

    The comedian Dick Gregory rose to national prominence in the early 1960s as a black satirist whose audacious style of humor was biting, subversive and topical, mostly centered on current events, politics and above all, racial tensions. His trademark was the searing punchline.

    Dick Gregory, a comedian, activist and author, died Saturday. [Tribune News Service, 2011]
  2. Winter Haven police investigating armed robbery at Dollar General

    Crime

    WINTER HAVEN — Police are investigating an armed robbery Friday night of a Dollar General store on W Lake Ruby Drive.

  3. Rowdies settle for draw at home

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  4. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  5. 'Free speech rally' cut short after massive counterprotest

    Nation

    BOSTON — Thousands of demonstrators chanting anti-Nazi slogans converged Saturday on downtown Boston in a boisterous repudiation of white nationalism, dwarfing a small group of conservatives who cut short their planned "free speech rally" a week after a gathering of hate groups led to bloodshed in Virginia.

    Thousands of people march against a “free speech rally” planned Saturday in Boston. About 40,000 people were in attendance.