Tampa non-profit to open new housing facility for families - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa non-profit to open new housing facility for families

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Amy Elam and her husband moved to Tampa earlier this year with their children hoping for employment and a better future.

Within weeks, they were in trouble. Elam's husband is self employed and she works in the hospitality industry.

The downturn in the economy meant it was difficult for them to find and keep work.

Elam says, "We lived in a hotel for about six months."

Things were spiraling downward for the family, but soon they would rapidly get out of control.

Elam says, "My husband got into an altercation and was arrested. Ten days after that, I was robbed at gunpoint and hospitalized and then shortly after that, my daughter was hospitalized with double pneumonia."

With the arrest, robbery and medical bills, their options were limited.

Elam says she found herself at Metropolitan Ministries with her twelve year old daughter.

Her husband was not allowed to go the facility because of his recent arrest.

Elam says, "The things that happened to me happened so fast and they were so violent. I've never been scared before and I was."

Each year Metropolitan Ministries sees hundreds of people like Elam.

They can only give housing to a fraction of the people that ask for it.

Monday, a group of invited guests was given a tour of the new facility that is being built to help more people like Amy Elam.

The facility will provide living space for 52 families, increasing the capacity of Metropolitan Ministries to provide living space for up to 99 families at a time.

Tim Marks with Metropolitan Ministries says, "We're still seeing significant needs in the family sector, families that are living paycheck to paycheck, families that are in unstable housing."

Metropolitan Ministries says the new facility was built at a cost of 13 million dollars.

They say it will offer hope and a place of security to those who need it as they go though counseling and training designed to get them back on their feet.

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