Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Jericho Road Ministries again seeks to open new shelter

BROOKSVILLE — With the need for space still outstripping the supply of available beds, Jericho Road Ministries is proposing to open a new shelter on the north side of Brooksville.

Next month, the organization will seek approval of a special exception use permit for a shelter on 1.3 acres on the east side of Broad Street, just north of Campbell Drive, that would house 30 men.

The nonprofit organization would use an existing 9,910-square-foot building on the site, which is owned by New Covenant Baptist Church of Brooksville, formerly known as the Northside Baptist Church of Brooksville.

The building has been used in the past as both a church and a school. That would make using it as a shelter a perfect fit, said John Mitten, president of Jericho Road Ministries.

In 2010, the organization was met with controversy as it attempted to build a new shelter with 48 beds on its site on Howell Avenue, south of the site it is now contemplating. Neighbors objected to having homeless people in their neighborhood and near Hernando High School.

While the Hernando County Planning and Zoning Commission rejected the plan, the County Commission narrowly approved it. But the project was contingent on a federal grant, and the money never came through.

The new plan is not attached to a grant, and Mitten said officials are still working out funding and other issues.

"We will step out in faith on this, and God will provide,'' he said.

The new shelter building would house men involved in the ministry's New Life Program. The three-phase program — with each phase lasting at least 12 weeks — is designed to help individuals to reach self-sufficiency.

Having the program contained in the new building would be a big help to the organization, Mitten said. The existing men's shelter on Mondon Hill Road could house the homeless who simply need a bed for a night or two and those who are being screened to go into the New Life Program.

"We will be able to use the Mondon Hill facility as a screening location as well as for more straight homeless needs,'' Mitten said. "Because of the waiting list, we're still underserving the need.''

The facility would be staffed by five full-time staffers and an overnight manager. While there, clients would not be allowed to own a vehicle, so parking should not be a problem, according to the narrative of the Jericho Road application.

County planning staffers recommend approval of the request, with conditions that include installation of an opaque fence on three sides of the property.

During the previous hearings on shelter expansion, Mitten told commissioners that Jericho Road facilities have always been good neighbors and that clients have not caused problems.

Jericho Road does not accept walk-in clients or those currently abusing a substance. There is also a strict set of shelter rules that govern resident and employee conduct, and failure to follow the rules leads to immediate dismissal from the program, the application states.

Mitten said Jericho Road officials are excited about the possibilities that a new facility offers.

"This is an opportunity to be able to enlarge our capacity to meet the overwhelming needs in this community,'' he said.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at or (352) 848-1434.

Jericho Road Ministries again seeks to open new shelter 03/30/12 [Last modified: Friday, March 30, 2012 6:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Water Hogs: During drought, hundreds of Tampa Bay homes guzzled a gallon of water a minute


    When Amalie Oil president Harry Barkett plunked down $6.75-million for his Bayshore Boulevard mansion, he picked up 12.5 bathrooms, a pool, a hot tub, an elevator and a deck bigger than some one-bedroom apartments.

    During one of the worst droughts in the Tampa Bay region's history, hundreds of houses used more than a gallon of water a minute. ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times

  2. PolitiFact Florida checks out Rick Baker's talking point about the growth of St. Petersburg's A-rated schools


    Rick Baker has used mailers, forums and social media to relay one big message in his campaign for St. Petersburg mayor: Schools in St. Petersburg saw drastic improvements when he was mayor from 2001 to 2010.

    Rick Baker, candidate for St. Petersburg mayor
  3. Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelly talks family, songwriting and more before Tampa show

    Music & Concerts

    A while back at the Grammys, Charles Kelley found himself in the same room as Paul McCartney. The Lady Antebellum singer, a seven-time Grammy winner in his own right, couldn't work up the courage to say hello.

    Lady Antebellum perform at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday. Credit: Eric Ray Davidson
  4. Clearwater suspect due in court after 9 die in sweltering San Antonio truck


    SAN ANTONIO — Nine people are dead and the death toll could rise after emergency crews pulled dozens of people from a sweltering tractor-trailer found parked outside a Walmart in the midsummer Texas heat, victims of what officials said was an immigrant-smuggling attempt gone wrong.

    San Antonio police officers investigate the scene where eight people were found dead in a tractor-trailer loaded with at least 30 others outside a Walmart store in stifling summer heat in what police are calling a horrific human trafficking case, Sunday, July 23, 2017, in San Antonio. [Associated Press]
  5. Email warning ignored before St. Pete started spewing sewage


    ST. PETERSBURG — A draft report lays blame for the city's sewage crisis squarely on the administration of Mayor Rick Kriseman and a cascading series of errors that started with the now infamous shuttering of the Albert Whitted Water Reclamation Facility in 2015.

    Signs at North Shore Park in St. Petersburg warn people in September 2016 to stay out of the water due to contamination from partially treated sewage from the city's overwhelmed sewer system. St. Petersburg dumped up to 200 million gallons of sewage over 13 months from 2015-16. A new state report blames much of the crisis on mistakes made by the administration of Mayor Rick Kriseman, but also critcizes past administrations. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]