Reprinted without any permission or warning from this article, BY Michele Miller
– TIMES STAFF WRITER
It was time to get the show on the road. Sue Campbell made her way past the rows of folded chairs to the front of the newly painted room to quiet the din of local notables and guests gathered for the grand opening of the ROPE Center’s new sleep facility.
Then she apologized for the poor acoustics.
In a month’s time, the white walls wouldn’t feel so stark, and the ship-gray concrete floor would be covered with beds and footlockers that would dull the echoes.
“This has been a long time coming,” Campbell said as her eyes welled up.
The new facility is the next step in a bigger vision, one that expands upon a ministry Jim and Sue Campbell started in 2009 when they opened the ROPE (Resource, Outreach, Prayer, Empowerment) Transitional Living Facility on a three-quarter-acre lot on Rhodes Road, off U.S. 19.
The Campbells, who also serve as pastors of the Prayer House on Ranch Road in Port Richey, have followed what Sue Campbell calls a “God-driven plan,” providing a variety of services to the homeless through the ROPE Center and at their Community OutReach Center, at 14241 Water Tower Drive in Hudson.
Along with temporary housing, their mission provides clothing, bathing facilities, a soup kitchen, cellphones, mail services, support group meetings for alcoholics and substance abusers, educational and employment assistance, medical and eye exam referrals and more.
There are plenty of people to help. In January 2015, the Coalition for the Homeless of Pasco County counted 1,045 homeless people in Pasco County. Of those, 886 were unsheltered.