In our county recently, faith-based organizations and caregivers following a point-in-time count determined that the number of homeless is steadily on the rise and far outreaches the amount of sheltered accommodation available.
“Homeless” describes people being sheltered in temporary quarters, plus those living 'rough' in encampments throughout the county, mostly along the U.S. 19 and State Road 50 corridors.
Jericho Road Ministries has helped people cope with harrowing circumstances since it was incorporated in 1998. Its mission is to help people live more fulfilling lives by meeting their spiritual and material needs.
“We provide shelter, food, education, and other skills for those who are seeking change,” said Pastor Andrew Chamberlin, the executive director of Jericho Road Ministries. Chamberlin, who was newly appointed in August 2018, explained that because there are so many more homeless people seeking shelter, our ministry is actively seeking ways to serve these extra numbers. “We conducted an analysis of who was using our shelters and how we provided food, accommodation, and education for them,” said Chamberlin, “and the resulting statistics show an increase of our services of 37 percent requiring about $18,000 more per year in income.”
Jericho Road Ministries does not receive any government funding whatsoever. Most of the ministry’s income is generated from its thrift stores to help support its four shelters and a food bank, plus some grants from local groups including the United Way.
The ministry, each month, provide more than 50,000 meals and approximately 1,200 nights of shelter. “In order for us to continue making our services and programs available to these extra homeless people, we need help,” said Chamberlin. “That is why we are spearheading a new fundraising drive to reach out to as many people as possible to donate as much as they can.”
Chamberlin explained there are lots of ways people can help homeless men, women, and children to benefit from the mission. “Cash donations are always appreciated but I encourage everyone to also patronize and donate to our thrift stores,” he said.
When you shop at Jericho Road Thrift Stores, you are helping support the entire ministry. The stores are receiving new items every day so you’ll always find something new each time you visit. All Jericho Road thrift stores are open until 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday.
Jericho Road Ministries is not just about providing food and accommodation for those in need. It also provides long term assistance in helping individuals restore their lives. Called the New Life program, it provides counseling and classes on how to deal with addiction, anger management, GED preparation, and resume and job planning. Chapel services are available for spiritual needs. “This is why we’re different, said Chamberlin. “We are helping them make an investment in their future.”
"If you can help our ministry, you’re helping those who are struggling with dire circumstances to get back on their feet and therefore become a productive member of our community,” he said.
Donations can be sent to Jericho Road Ministries, Inc. PO Box 864, Brooksville, FL 34605.
About Pastor Andrew Chamberlin of Jericho Road Ministries
The new Executive Director of Jericho Road Ministries holds a Masters in Divinity and a Masters of Business Administration from Liberty University.
He has been pastoring for more than 11 years and worked for two years at a rescue mission.
Andrew Chamberlin is married and has 3 children. He lives in Hernando County.