The Community Medical Care Center was founded in 1999 as a partnership between the Central Florida Health Alliance and First Baptist Church Leesburg. Today, more than 50 volunteer doctors and 11 volunteer dentists seen approximately 600 people every month. The patients must earn (and be able to document) less than 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines, but once they qualify, their care is free.
Doctors from many different specialty fields volunteer at the clinic: cardiologists, orthopedic surgeons, nephrologists and many others. In addition to primary care, the clinic also provides referrals for free diagnostic tests, chronic disease education and care and even in some cases referrals for surgical procedures.
The clinic operates with a substantial wait time, given the demand for services versus the supply available. If you have a medical emergency, contact 911 or see a primary care doctor. If you have further questions about the clinic, you may call 352-787-8489 during regular business hours.
The south wing of the Samaritan Inn opened in 2010. The project involved First Baptist Leesburg and Christian Care Center re-purposing the Big Bass Motel into a shelter for homeless families. It remains the only shelter in Lake County for intact families undergoing a period of homelessness. From the very beginning, the Samaritan Inn saw excellent results, as more than 70 percent of the first group of residents left with housing, income and some degree of spiritual growth.
The next chapter in the Samaritan Inn's journey involves the completion of the north wing and the rest of the campus. When completed, the Inn will host 17 families who pay absolutely nothing for their stay. The only payment required is that clients address the self-identified issues that stand between them and stable employment and housing during the time they spend on campus.
The Children's Shelter Home was founded in 1985 as a temporary (3-7 days) shelter for kids who had been removed from custody by the Florida Department of Children and Families but had not been placed in a foster home. Today, the ministry serves as a longer-term option for children who need specialized care. In many cases, the children in our care have done better with us than they have in any other part of the "system."
The Children's Shelter is operated by a contract with the state that stipulates that our children can attend all age-appropriate events at First Baptist Leesburg. We have sent kids to youth camp, to FBC Leesburg's First Academy and strive to make their stay with us as normal as it can be under the circumstances.
It is our vision to reach these kids who have had some horrible life experiences at a young age with the gospel and help them to become responsible, mature adults.
The Benevolence Ministry began as a clothes closet at FBC Leesburg. People would donate clothes to the less fortunate and others would volunteer to pass them out. When the old Rescue Mission started receiving food donations, they moved the clothes closet to the Rescue Mission and began providing food aid along with clothing.
In 1991, the ministry moved to its present separate location. Today, the Benevolence Ministry serves and average of 2,000 people per month with food and clothing, making it one of (if not the) largest food banks in Leesburg. An average of 17 volunteers is needed every single session that the Benevolence Ministry opens its doors.
Hours are as follows:
Monday-Friday 9-11:40 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday 6-8 p.m.
Those who need help must make an appointment and may do so by calling 352-787-5289.
The Women's Care Center of the Christian Care Center came into existence in 1987 when the Rescue Mission became the Men's Residence. Originally, the Women's Care Center sheltered both women and their children. Over the years, the mission of the Women's Care Center has changed and now focuses more on substance abuse and emotional and spiritual issues. The Women's Care Center can accommodate up to 16 people at a time.
The Women's Care Center offers a one-year program broken up into two phases. The six-month first involves intensive counseling, Bible study, financial and other life skills help and one-on-one mentoring with women from the church and the community. The second phase involves finding work and learning how to apply that which has been learned so that our clients can have long-term success.
The Women's Care Center is led by Rachel Caruso. Rachel has been with the Christian Care Center for several years and is experienced in dealing with a wide variety of chemical and mental health issues. Her assistant is Victoria Johnson.
The Pregnancy and Family Care Center came into existence in 1989 after a woman in the church challenged Pastor Charles Roesel by saying, "You talk tough about abortion, but talk is cheap."
The woman donated $5,000 to help start the new ministry. Today, the Pregnancy and Family Care Center serves more than 200 clients per month. Some of the clients are still abortion-minded, but a large number of them are young people who need help in learning how to parent or who have court-ordered need for parenting classes. We operate on an earn-while-you-learn basis, allowing young families to get points toward diapers, clothes, toys, formula and other necessities by completing parenting studies, Bible courses, counseling hours and various other means of education.
The Men's Residence is the oldest ministry of the Christian Care Center. In 1982, some members of First Baptist Leesburg had bought and were using an old house across the street from the church as space for Sunday School. One day, the class decided that using the building one day per week was somewhat wasteful considering how many homeless people were in attendance at church services. Eventually, they decided to open a Rescue Mission in the old white house.
Many people came and went over the course of the years, but the ministry seemed to be less effective than it could be. So eventually the Rescue Mission became the Men's Residence. Today, the program serves up to 36 men who need help with drug and alcohol addiction, emotional issues and other life skills. The program is five months long and combines intensive Bible study and life skills classes with one-on-one counseling and mentorship from dozens of volunteers.
The Men's Residence is led by Jay Walsh, a veteran of many years of inner-city rehabilitation ministries before coming to the CCC. His assistant is Dave Fleming, who also has decades of experience in dealing helping men overcome addictions through the love of Christ.