No home, no bed, no roof over their heads — no matter what it looks like, homelessness leaves kids feeling insecure and afraid.

What we offer

PromiseLand Early Childhood Education Center

The center provides loving, comprehensive care for children zero through five years old. It’s a place where children of our residents and the local community go while their parents are working through education and job training to build a better life. We are a nationally accredited childcare center through the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation. Additionally, the Department of Children and Families recognizes us as a Gold Seal Center for its high quality. Specialized programs include:

• Infant Mental Health
• Special Needs
• Parent-Child Interactive Therapy

Metropolitan Ministries K-5 Partnership School

The Patricia J. Sullivan Partnership School serves as a choice elementary school. In close partnership with the School District of Hillsborough County, parents and our dedicated staff, we help students achieve academic success and social and emotional growth.

• At risk children in the surrounding community
• Homeless students residing here who have experienced trauma
• As a result, most of these children are below grade level

First Hug:

First Hug is a child-centered program ensuring that children are ready to learn and succeed and provides wraparound preventative services to alleviate family stress. It is a home visitation case management program specially designed for families struggling with homelessness with children birth through middle school. Through home visitation and personalized case management, First Hug assures children are ready for school and provides parents with tools to advocate for their child and connect to school and safety resources.

Child-focused school success:
First Hug will provide:
• Developmental screenings to assess children’s readiness to learn (ages 0 to 5)
• Referrals and connections to community resources to assure children are ready for school
• Reduce barriers to school attendance and success for children ages 5 – middle school
• Help parents build positive relationships with their child’s school to increase the child’s opportunity for success

Family stabilization and strengthening
Case Managers work with families struggling with homelessness to:
• Assess the unique needs of each family and work together to develop a client-driven self-sufficiency plan
• Reduce family stress and the impact of trauma
• Meet weekly to assist families as they work towards stabilization
• Provide resources and tools to support healthy family relationships and safe living environments
• Provide employment, adult education, connection to job placement services
• Identify safe housing options

You can fill out the First Hug form here.

Parent-Child Home Program

A national early learning program for children aged two to three years old, this program aids under-resourced parents or guardians of children by providing home visitors for help with developing their child’s reading and early learning skills—offering encouragement for parents and to prepare children for school readiness and life success.
Program details
• Each family receives 92 home visits (twice a week) throughout the two years of the program.
• Trained community-based Early Literacy Specialists model reading, play, and conversation activities for parents and children together.
• Families receive at least 46 books and educational toys to build language and literacy-rich homes.
• Curriculum guides provide families with literacy, numeracy, and school readiness activities.
• Families are connected to other needed supports, including housing, medical, and educational services.
• Site staff work with families to ensure every graduate is linked to future educational services and is equipped for school success through school supplies & backpacks.
• Professional site coordinators provide insight for early literacy specialists and oversee support and referrals for families.

First Hug and Parent-Child programs are funded through a grant provided by:

Youth Enrichment

Many of our school-aged and teen residents admit to getting off the school bus three blocks away from Metropolitan Ministries so the other kids won’t know they are homeless. Their situation leaves them feeling embarrassed and stigmatized. These vulnerable teens are at risk for abuse, behavior issues, school failure and more.

What we offer

Our at-risk youth programming is specifically designed to address trauma, educational gaps, leadership development, and enrichment through:

• C.R.E.A.T.E (Children’s Recreational Education Arts and Therapeutic Experience)
• Teen SpeakUp: a public speaking and leadership program
• Dale Carnegie leadership training
• STEAM (Science, Technology, Arts, Math) including Robotics
• Performing Arts training with the Patel Conservatory
• Flexible space to support ongoing self-defense, safety, and rape prevention classes
• Gymnasium to support sports and exercise
• Real-world experiences through fields trips and summer camps