A MORE PERFECT UNION
NFL partners with Tampa charities to leave lasting legacy in Super Bowl city
Every year, the NFL thanks cities for hosting the Super Bowl by donating to the community. This year the league is investing $2 million into partnerships with Tampa-area charities like Metropolitan Ministries to change the lives of families in need. Mark Strassmann reports.
Local mom of two surprised with a fully furnished apartment as part of the Forever 55 Legacy Program
The Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee, in partnership with Metropolitan Ministries, surprised a local mother of two with a brand new, fully furnished apartment. The donation is part of the Forever 55 Stable Families Project that launched on Christmas morning and will support 20 Tampa Bay families transitioning from homelessness to self-sufficiency. The project is part of the Forever 55 Super Bowl Legacy Grant Program funded by the NFL Foundation and the Host Committee alongside community and civic partners to create, support, and implement long-lasting initiatives throughout Tampa Bay.
The SabalPlace apartment recipient, Alexia, is a single mother of two who lost her job due to COVID-19. Despite efforts to make ends meet, she was evicted from her apartment, and she and her family began staying with family and friends or sleeping in their car. She reached out to Metropolitan Ministries with the hope she could find safe shelter for her family. After moving into the Emergency Shelter and entering the Metropolitan Ministries program, Alexia secured employment as a certified nursing assistant and enrolled in the Erwin Technical College Phlebotomy program.
Alexia and her children are the first residents of SabalPlace, a newly constructed family community of apartment homes. Resident families will enjoy amenities as well as case management services through Metropolitan Ministries. In addition to her fully furnished apartment, the Forever 55 Stable Families Project will also help further her education and enrollment in a Practical Nursing program. It is the first step in achieving her ultimate goal of becoming a Registered Nurse and achieving self-sustenance and security for herself and her children.
“For Alexia, her furnished apartment is just the beginning. Whether a stable home, reliable transportation, or the opportunity to better themselves, the Stable Families project will empower families and bring them closer to self-sufficiency,” said Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee CEO Rob Higgins. “It is remarkable what these twenty families have been able to achieve with the help and guidance of Metropolitan Ministries and we look forward to more stories that highlight the game-changing impact Forever 55 can have on their lives.”
“Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, there are so many stories like Alexia’s; hardworking single parents who lost their jobs and found themselves homeless,” said Tim Marks, President and CEO of Metropolitan Ministries. “We are thankful to the NFL and the Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee for supporting our local community and people like Alexia and her two children through Forever 55. It won’t just be about the impact today. This support will transform the lives of 20 different families forever.”