WHAT WE DO
The Ephraim Project adheres to a Bible-based, five-pronged approach to ministry and service taken from Isaiah 58:6-7: "Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to lift heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him ...":
FEED THE HUNGRY
A key part of our ministry begins with meeting people's basic needs where they are, how they are, just as our Savior first did for us. And the single most effective way to start this life-changing relationship with Him is to provide the homeless and needy with a hot, healthy meal. The Ephraim Project does just that every Friday evening for more than 300 guests. We meet at St. George Orthodox Church, located downtown at 24 N. Rosalind Street, where we serve a hot meal and dispense clothes, shoes, blankets, backpacks, toiletries, and Bibles. Throughout the week, we also provide the homeless with mail delivery, remote storage service, bus passes, and other essential services.
Partnering with Emmanuel's Kitchen, we provide food for needy families with homes in fourteen cities throughout Central Florida. In 2017, we also shipped more than 10,000 pounds of food to impoverished families in Trinidad, St. Martin, and Guyana.
CLOTHE THE NAKED
Another important part of what we do is help rebuild self image. What better way to restore a sense of dignity and offer immediate encouragement than to supply a needy person with a new or lightly used set of clothing and shoes? We also partner with different ministries to supply clothing, shoes, toiletries, and other humanitarian aid to impoverished families in St. Martin and Dominica, West Indies; Haiti; Trinidad; Liberia; Ethiopia; Uganda; and Guyana.
SHELTER THE HOMELESS
Since 2009, we have offered housing assistance to 282 families. Though every case is different, our main goal is to help the homeless secure permanent housing and to help those who already have homes keep them. Additionally, we provide transitional housing, emergency housing, utility subsidies, and relocation assistance for those who have family and/or jobs waiting in another city. We also help "newly-homed" guests outfit their apartments with furniture, linens, and other household items. In 2017, one generous donor established a special Housing Crisis Fund to help families find homes or to remain in their current ones.
LIFT HEAVY BURDENS
Mondays through Thursdays, from satellite locations around the city, our dedicated team of case workers advocate for veterans and disabled clients. In total, they have one 36 SSI cases and have recovered more than $1.8 million in benefits. They provide a myriad of other social services as well, including:
Filling prescriptions and medical equipment for the sick
Supplying bus passes and bicycles
Purchasing cell phones and minutes for working clients
Providing transportation to and from doctor appointments
Paying power bills, security deposits, and storage fees
Furnishing apartments for those starting over
Hiring lawyers to advocate for the powerless
The foundation of our work is biblically-based. While we strive to meet the felt needs of those we serve through food, clothing, and shelter, our ultimate goal is to bring every person to a saving knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Since 2009, we've distributed thousands of Bibles and had 198 decisions for Christ.