to raise awareness and mobilize action
The “Homeless Jesus” sculpture is a visual representation of the need to remember the “least of these” in our society. Prominent 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 sleeping person, covered with a blanket, on a park bench. Considered controversial by some, those passing by do not know it is Jesus until they take a closer look. There are holes in the feet.
In the future, a memorial for the homeless will be installed at The Portico. People experiencing homelessness are often invisible to the community. Those who die on the street are forgotten. The memorial will have the names of the men and women who have died on the streets of Tampa: they will be remembered and visible. The purpose of this provocative artwork is to draw people into considering those in the margins of society and in our own lives.
Love INC is a ministry that acts as a network to bring local churches, church volunteers and community organizations together and help people in need. Through Love, Inc. churches and individual Christians are mobilized to work together, across denominational lines to provide and coordinate 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.
Portico Workforce Housing solution’s purpose is to provide dignified, safe, affordable, workforce housing for homeless single men who are motivated, qualified, employed and in need of housing but unable to assemble the up-front costs of securing housing independently. Currently, we have two homes which house six men. Learn more in this report.