More than a decade ago, the Rev. Pedro A. Martinez, watched the struggles of the homeless in Miami Beach. Then, he decide to do something about the problem. He designed and organized an outreach ministry to provide the homeless with much needed food, supportive services and community resources.
On Saturday the program called H.O.P.E. at Miami Beach Community Church, will begin its 11th year of reaching out to the chronically homeless in Miami Beach. The organization partners with the city of Miami Beach to have half-day events six times a year at the church, 1620 Drexel Ave., where the Rev. H.E. "Hunter" Thompson is the senior pastor.
During one of the events, it is not uncommon for individuals to receive a hot meal, clothes, shoes, hygiene products, a haircut, foot care, glasses, and referrals to agencies specializing in assisting the homeless. "Providing support and encouragement to the hungry and homeless is an important ministry, and we are pleased to partner with H.O.P.E. in Miami Beach," Thompson said.
Martinez said, "We seek to provide immediate assistance, while complementing the work of other churches and social-service agencies.”
In addition to the event on Feb. 9, five other events will be on April 13, June 8, Aug, 10, Oct. 12, and Dec. 7. All events are from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and all who are in need are welcome. However, the priority is serving the homeless.
Although H.O.P.E. receives donations of clothing and food, Thompson said, "The help of professional specialists such as podiatrists, dentists, chiropractors, massage therapists and barbers/haircutters are needed to share their skills and expertise."
Said Martinez: "Providing food and clothing is just the beginning. The homeless need and deserve, access to basic care."
If you have a service that can be used to help the homeless, or for more information about H.O.P.E., please contact Martinez at 305-220-3467, or go to the website, hopeinmiamibeach.org.
For more information on the programs and services at Miami Beach Community Church, call Thompson at 305-538-4511 or visit the website, www.miamibeachcommunitychurch.com.
Temple to honor leaders
Temple Beth Tov-Ahavat Shalom in West Miami will present "The Grand Celebration" at 4 p.m. Sunday to honor four of its leaders — Rabbi Manuel Armon, Cantor Irving "Babe" Resnick, and Frances and Milton Miller.
Born in Buenos Aires, the center of one of the largest and most influential Jewish communities in Latin America, Rabbi Armon studied at the Buenos Aires Hebrew Teachers Seminary, and was later granted a scholarship to pursue rabbinical studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, where he earned a masters degree in Hebrew Literature and became the first Latin American to be ordained a rabbi. He later graduated from Columbia University in New York, and from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. While at the University of Jerusalem, he served as the secretary of the Institute of Jewish Studies. He also taught Bible and Talmud at various schools in Israel.
Armon later moved to the United States and served as various pulpits as a rabbi. For the past 15 years, Armon has served as the spiritual leader of Temple Beth Tov-Ahavat Shalom. He is a member of the Rabbinical Assembly of the International Association of Conservative Rabbis, and the Greater Miami Rabbinical Association. The Rabbinical Assembly recently honored him for 50 years of service as a rabbi.