Matthew’s Hope

by: FOR Orlando

Based in Winter Garden, Matthew’s Hope is a fully independent, faith-based, homeless outreach organization completely funded and supported by the local community serving west Orange County. Matthew’s Hope Ministries began as a response to inclement weather in 2010 when the temperature dipped below 39 degrees. Volunteers in the community heard about the ministry and stepped up to help, cleaning bathrooms and helping to feed the people. As the temperatures warmed, they could not just walk away from the obvious, ongoing needs of the homeless community of west Orange County. Together, Matthew’s Hope Ministries was created.

Volunteers and staff members of Matthew’s Hope Ministries help connect guests with various resources and services of need. The ministry believes in offering a hand up, not just a handout. Matthew’s Hope serves any person who is currently homeless and has some connection to our community. They offer a variety of services throughout the week.

Each Tuesday and Thursday, staff members and volunteers serve many of the of our community. Hundreds of people are served weekly both through mobile ministry and at the Outreach Center in Winter Garden. Guests are offered a warm shower, shave, haircut, laundry service, and new clothing as needed. The Mobile Pantry provides nonperishable foods, hygiene items, and clothing needs. The Healthcare Team makes sure our guests get their medications, checks temperatures, and blood pressure, and dresses wounds. The team delivers warm prepared food prepared and donated by our community partners and volunteers.

Some guests visit with staff members who assist them with various benefits, identification cards, or other services. Other guests and volunteers simply chat, play games, and spend time with each other.

Most importantly, every guest is shown the Love of Christ through the call to serve as detailed in the book of Matthew 25:35-40, from which the ministry derives its name.

“For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited Me in, I needed clothes and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you came to visit Me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and invite You in, or needing clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and go to visit You?” The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me.”

Each guest, in their own unique way, departs at the end of each Ministry Service Day better for having been present, and better prepared to “hide in plain sight” in our community.

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