SEFFNER — Metropolitan Ministries is branching out its services by opening up an office inside Tampa Bay’s newest affordable housing development.
This month more than two dozen Bay area families who were once experiencing homelessness now have a place to call home at Sabal Place in Seffner.
“We have 112 units here at Sabal Place, 77 of those are set aside for those coming out of homelessness or escaping domestic violence, so a huge help for our community,” said Amanda Lopez with Metropolitan Ministries.
Just like residents are still unpacking and getting used to their new apartments, Amanda Lopez is still getting acquainted with her new Metropolitan Ministries office, located just steps away from the leasing office.
“We know that support services are needed and if we can be right here on campus with them where transportation is not a question, I think we are definitely setting the tone in this community that this can and does work,” said Lopez.
Lopez said their case managers will be on hand to provide support on everything from finding a job, to putting food on the table, to receiving an education.
“If they say, ‘I really have some goals I want to work on and I want to do this on a weekly basis, can I meet with you weekly,’ perfect we can meet weekly and work on some goals,” said Lopez.
She said most of these families are moving in after years of challenging circumstances.
“They’re coming from the shelters, some of them were living in their cars,” said Lopez.
She said first you provide them a safe place to live and then you start working on building relationships and trust. Think of Metropolitan Ministries as a helpful neighbor.
“This is going to be an everyday thing where we can just say, ‘have a good day at work,’ or meet you as you are coming in from work and see the kids play at the playground and interact with them,” said Lopez. “My vision is definitely that we are building a sense of community.”
For more information on Metropolitan Ministries go to metromin.org.