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Metropolitan Charities, Inc. a 501(c)3 organization, is committed to providing premier HIV services, social networking, and other health and wellness programs that enhance the quality of life. We strive to promote a healthy environment for all and to foster diversity within the community as a whole, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or economic status.
Metropolitan Charities ("Metro") was formed in 1984 as an outreach of King of Peace Church in St. Petersburg Florida, in order to provide a variety of needed services to the HIV/AIDS community of Tampa Bay. Most local AIDS service agencies' roots can be traced back to these efforts. The agency now works with over 3,000 individuals at any given time in our many programs. These services include: medical case management, Minority AIDS Initiative for the African American/Black and Hispanic/Latino population, jail discharge planning for inmates with HIV/AIDS, behavioral health services, free HIV testing, substance abuse treatment, eligibility services, Department of Children and Families partner sites where clients can enroll in various programs, food pantry services (Pasco), housing assistance, and thrift store (Pinellas). In 2009, Metro opened a new service facility in New Port Richey to serve Pasco/Hernando Counties and initiated REAL LIFE, an HIV/AIDS prevention intervention for high risk minority teens in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.
Metro offers gender-specific programs for members of our communities. "Women Empowered and Loving Life" is a free, confidential, educational and empowerment group designed especially for women of color who are living with HIV/AIDS; groups are facilitated by an experienced licensed therapist. Behavioral Health support groups are also available specifically for women and facilitated by experienced licensed therapists. Metro utilizes Peer Educators within our existing African American and Hispanic Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI), our SAMHSA-funded METRO project, and our Florida Department of Health's Closing the Gap REAL LIFE program. Our Minority Empowerment Through Risk-Reduction and Outreach (M.E.T.R.O) is a program that targets Blacks/African Americans, Latinos/Hispanics, and Minority Ex-offenders of all genders. The M.E.T.R.O Program educates participants on issues surrounding substance abuse, HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis. The goal of the M.E.T.R.O Program is to prevent the onset or relapse of substance abuse, modify risky behaviors, and reduce the transmission of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis among minorities. The agency has Metro Centers in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties that host numerous activities for the GLBT community.
- Lynne Mullen
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