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About us

University Community Ministries (UCM) is a faith- based IRS- qualified Florida charitable 501c (3) organization established in 1995.UCM offers services to children and youth, the homeless, and the elderly in need of supportive services such as literacy skills, food and clothing distribution, counseling, and community referral to increase individual and family independence and self-sufficiency.

UCM agency mission is to address and meet the spiritual, social and economic needs of the Tampa Bay community. We communicate the message of God’s love of all people, regardless of age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin or economic status. 


To accomplish our mission, we provide opportunities that promote dignity, independence and self-sufficiency in the lives of the

homeless, the elderly, the frail, the disadvantaged, the under-served youth and persons with disabilities.

The agency vision is that all individuals who suffer spiritually, physically, mentally, financially or from some other burden in their lives, may find restored hope, a resiliency to cope successfully with a changing environment, and the strength to live independently and come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ

UCM has three major and unique programs under its umbrella. 

Hot Stew

Operation Jumpstart Program (OJ)

Group that feeds and provides services to the homeless on Saturdays

Outdoor Reading


Family Literacy Program to instill literacy as a value. 

Holding Hands

Forerunners: West of 60 Program (use to be known as FB)

A ministry to the senior adult community (60+)

Funding has been provided by:

  • Burton Family Foundation

  • Citylife Church

  • The Radiant Group

  • Rainmaker Music Management

  • Valley Bank 

  • Anonymous


Additional Funding is received from community friends and supporters



Jerome Van Gurp

President and Operation Jumpstart Program Director

Stan Strickland

Vice President

America Van Gurp


David Ogburn


John Maglott

Forerunners: West of 60

Program Director

Justin Dolan

Molly Cox

Judy Morales

Tony Stewart

Citylife Church Pastor



America Van Gurp

Albertine Tumba

Chip Purcell

Joyce Griffin

Dawn Christian

Ryan Quandt

Justin Dolan

Dr. Natalie Kennedy

Gerald  Pomraning


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