Helping people onto Employment Ladders, into Safe Housing and Raising Awareness
The “Homeless Jesus” sculpture is a visual reminder of the “least of these” in our society. Prominently placed at the south entrance of the campus is a humble silhouette seeking obscured respite. The thought-provoking bronze sculpture by Canadian sculptor Timothy P. Schmalz depicts an unidentified person, covered with a blanket, sleeping on a park bench. Considered controversial by some, those passing by do not realize it is Jesus until they take a closer look at the holes in his feet. The purpose of this provocative artwork is to compel people to consider that God can be found in places where they least expect it.
A mural on wall next to our campus lists the name of people who have died on the streets of Tampa in the previous year. People experiencing homelessness are often invisible to the community. Those who die on the street are forgotten. The memorial ensures that they will be remembered and visible.
Love INC is a ministry that acts as a network to bring local churches, church volunteers and community organizations together to help people in need. Through Love, INC, churches and individual Christians are mobilized to work together across denominational lines, to coordinate and provide help to our struggling neighbors with basic needs — food, clothing and longer-term responses, such as life skills, training and transitional housing programs. Love INC is housed on the third floor of The Portico Connections Building.
The Portico Workforce Housing Solutions
The Portico Workforce Housing Solutions is a partnership between Hyde Park United Methodist Church’s Open Arms Ministry and The Portico, Love INC (in the Name of Christ) of Metro Tampa and Second Half Properties, LLC. Currently, we have two houses with a total of six beds. Housing is available to homeless men with jobs. This six month program provides additional wrap-around services in addition to an affordable, safe bed.