The Well is a community of people committed to loving and serving among the poor in Tampa. The Well is not a place with an address but a people with a vocation. Maybe you have heard someone say that “the well is closing” and if, by the Well, they mean the facility on Florida Avenue which we have used as a drop-in center for the past 3 years then, that’s true. Though the location has served our purposes well over the last few years it has also come under fire from some very vocal and upset neighbors who represent the changing economics of our neighborhood. Pressure has been placed on city leadership, who in turn have put pressure on us and our landlord to move along. We have done our best to respond to their requests over the last year and have finally come to realize the inevitable shift that is taking place as the economic tides turn in Tampa Heights. I want to assure you, however, that the tenacious and committed community known as the Well, will press on. We have adapted before and will continue to do so.
While some of the reasons can be quite upsetting, we are also excited about the coming changes. While there has been a certain benefit of centralizing our work in the current location we are eager to deploy smaller teams with mobile and more agile tactics that can respond to the needs throughout our city. We are building partnerships all over Tampa where our work can be multiplied. We are also strategizing to leverage some of our assets and community to engage in social enterprises that create much needed earned income opportunities for our friends in need. Transitioning out of the building is part of a larger plan. We have built strong relationships with so many that we met over the last several years and the time has come to work with those individuals in much deeper ways. By closing the doors we conserve finances, time, and energy that is otherwise depleted by the constant, and beloved, traffic in our family room. All of those assets are limited and must be applied to the work that we believe will bear the most fruit.
We are launching a mobile outreach unit that will continue our works of mercy that provide food, clothing, showers, and other resources needed by our neighbors in need.
We are moving our community dinners as well as our monthly Conscious Party into partner locations that will promote collaboration and build unity.
We are developing plans to launch more businesses that provide opportunity, ownership, and income to those who currently lack access to the job market.
We are sowing seeds of change and compassion throughout this city and we, the Well, are and will be continuing the work we have always done here.
We continue to call on your love and prayers and partnership. Join us in the work to see needs met, bridges built, and our city made whole.
Okay, so here are some details you may want to know:
- Our last day of current operations at 3023 N Florida Ave will be November 18th.
- We will host a big dinner at 6pm on November 17th to give thanks and remember all that has happened here. We will be harvesting our tilapia for the event and invite you to bring a dish.
- We will spend the end of November cleaning and packing.
- We will be moving everything out of the current location over the month of December and hope you will join us for workdays.
- We will be launching dinners, conscious party, and mobile outreach in January and pray that you will join one of the teams to love and serve and grow with us.