This just in from officials at Metropolitan Ministries:
Since July, construction crews at Metropolitan Ministries have been working to double the organization’s capacity to serve homeless families with a new housing facility called MiraclePlace.
The raising of the structure’s first walls today marks a major milestone on the project’s path to completion in summer 2013. Construction of the new facility at the former location of Metropolitan Ministries’ holiday tent has necessitated a five-block move for the Tampa landmark, while the organization prepares to serve a record number of homeless and struggling families in November and December.
The new holiday tent location at 400 West Palm Avenue is the center of Metropolitan Ministries’ annual effort to serve thousands of families in need at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The Ministries expects to serve a record number of homeless and struggling families – 25,900, including 26,190 children. Only five blocks from the Ministries’ former tent location, the new site will be ready by the beginning of November.
The construction of MiraclePlace, which began in July, will double Metropolitan Ministries’ housing capacity to serve 200 families and 450 children every year. The walls raised this week weigh up to 90,000 pounds, and mark the first vertical steps toward the structure's three-story plan.
The project’s current progress would not be possible without the support of construction partners like Beck, JVS Construction, Fleischman Garcia Architects, Dallas One, Ramcon, Four Seasons, Countryside Glass & Mirror, Trio Painting, French’s HVAC, D&S Electrical and Red Brookshire of Florida.
“Our neighbors are still living with the effects of the economic and housing crisis,” said Metropolitan Ministries President Tim Marks. “We’ve seen a 325 percent increase in requests for housing assistance in the past five years, and the need is always greatest during the holiday season.”
Volunteers and families seeking assistance can find additional information at Holiday Central on the Metropolitan Ministries website: www.metromin.org.