TAMPA (FOX13) - A Tampa ministry is offering the homeless a place to rest their feet and enrich their minds.
From the street, it looks like any other house along North Florida Avenue. But behind the gates of The Well, something special is happening. The faith-based center serves as a safe haven for area's homeless population. During the day, those in need can stop in for something as simple as a shower or as significant as a meaningful conversation.
"It's humbling because you can only do so much. Our main goal is to built friendships with people, because through friendships, dignity is restored," The Well staff member Charissa Stepp said.
During that process, organizers with the well work to teach clients job skills. During any given day, a slew of people can be spotted working in their bike yard, building their only means of transportation from the ground up.
"Some of the bikes are donated. Some people say, 'Oh, it's been sitting in the garage. It's rusted up.' So they bring it down. So we take it apart and shine it up, because that's all it needs, a good cleaning," said Richard Briles, who is homeless.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are grown in the nearby garden.
"We focus primarily on growing crops that can feed multiple people in multiple ways," volunteer Sam Moore said.
During the hot summer months, that includes beans, peanuts, corn, and herbs. A tank of tilapia help feed their hydroponic garden. All of it eventually makes it's way to the plates of the hungry.
"It's a special feeling. It's all basically the goal from the time that you plant the seed or propagate the plant from a cutting. It's all about what winds up on the table," Moore said.
It's a small but self-sustaining mission to better the lives of the forgotten. It's hard work for it's staff of just four people, but an effort of the highest order.
"It reminds me that Jesus came as a poor man. And he came as someone he suffered. To work with people daily who suffer reminds me of who Jesus is," Stepp said.
For more information on the well, head over to welltampa.com.
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