The Greater Brandon Ecumenical Ministries (GBEM) was started as an outreach project of ECHO. In February 2007, over 20 different religious and secular service organizations met to address how the community could join together to address the immediate and long term needs of the homeless and needy of our community. ECHO is one of five founding member organizations of GBEM and ECHO is represented on the Board of Directors.
In June, 2008, GBEM partnered with Metropolitan Ministries to open the I AM HOPE CAFE at the First Baptist Church of Mango. The I AM HOPE CAFE provides hot meals, clothing, medical assistance, mobile shower facilities and social services to the growing population of homeless and needy. Although partnering with Metropolitan Ministries to meet the immediate goals of feeding the homeless and needy on an ongoing and regular basis, the long range goals are to partner with the Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County, as well as other faith based and secular social service organizations to provide the help needed for families and individuals to learn, change, and provide for themselves.
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