Metropolitan Ministries: Real Changes For Better Lives

At Metropolitan Ministries, “hope lives here.” A slogan, yes, but a true fact to anyone who has set foot into the facilities which currently holds fifty adults and one-hundred and twenty children, according to Tim Marks the president of Metropolitan Ministries, the average stay in this hope filled facility is six months.

Thanks to people like Elaine Thomas, a thirty year veteran in community development who now works as a housing specialist, loving residencies are established. Elaine miraculously finds homes for two to three people a day. What is even more astounding about the work done at Metropolitan Ministries is in a yearly check-up; after leaving the premises,  ninety-seven percent of Elaine’s clients are still nurturing and occupying the living circumstances which were established after leaving the hope sanctuary.

While families attend Metropolitan Ministries breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided each day and these food staples are provided in luau of the hearty generous donations throughout the year.  After feeding the populace within their walls they continue to feed neighboring civilians who are homeless whom need some extra nourishment.

On an individual-to-individual basis people like Jackie Davis, the compliance manager; Robyn Mellin, the assistant director of school aged programs; and David Bledsoe, the assistant director of community relations, people like these and many more help to add the loving touches Metropolitan Ministries needs to run smoothly.

“Families are transformed here,” says Tim Marks.

An uncle, James Lawson, waits patiently outside the studio room for his nephew, whom James has legal custody over his nephew Chris Adams, to receive a complimentary portrait by Peptio Masterpiece Portraits.

James, who experienced Metropolitan Ministries as a resident when he was a teenager, is excited for his nephew Chris. “He just graduated and is enrolled at an art institute in Tampa, where he will study to make games and will learn how to program.”

Chris, a previous resident with his mother at Metropolitan Ministries, would have been put into a foster home if his uncle had not accepted custody. James says he’s been through some rough times himself, has had some good people help him out along the way, and he wanted to give his nephew some stability to establish his dreams.

His uncle has raised Chris since he was fourteen, although James is still somewhat young himself and it has been a challenge, he has been able to see his nephew blossom into a bright man with big plans.  Chris Adams is currently attending interviews and looking for employment; it is certain that whoever employs Chris will have a reliable, focused, and friendly employee.

All recipients of the portrait sessions received a stuffed animal of their choosing. Many of the stuffed animals were gracefully donated and infused with love by study group members of the book A Course In Miracles, in St. Petersburg, from The Miracle Center. No one left empty handed unless it was their choice.

“Many of these people have never had a family portrait taken before,” News Channel 8 reporter Shannon Behnken tells Pepito, a South Tampa portrait photographer. When asked if this was a common occurrence Pepito states, “Yeah. One lady even broke down, and hugged me. It was incredible.”

The way Pepito sees it is, “I am these people, and we’re all connected.” He and his friends are excited to serve, to give blessings to all the families they are able to encounter, and are grateful they were able to help. Pepito truly believes, “we are all one.”

“Many of the Christmas Eve pictures Pepito takes are posted throughout the campus,” Tim Mark says. “It brings many families joy.”


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