Our Story & Staff
New Beginnings of Tampa was developed from the outreach program of New Life Ministries, a vibrant, local church.
Dr. Tom Atchison, Senior Pastor of New Life, had been feeding and counseling the poor and disadvantaged in Tampa for many years. Ginny, his wife, always had a heart for those suffering with addiction and homelessness and she wanted to find a way to offer love and hope.
One day as they watched a homeless woman leave church with her food box in hand, Tom and Ginny realized that giving out food provided some temporary relief, but it did nothing to solve her deeper problems. From that day on, they were consumed with a passion to do more and to really help people transform their lives.
Pastor Tom and Ginny decided to immediately began using a church parsonage to house homeless women. This initial project was a real eye-opener as they struggled to learn more about the complex problems contributing to chronic homelessness. Pastor Tom and Ginny soon understood that effective, long-term solutions would require substantial resources, facilities and concerted efforts which were beyond the scope of their local church. In 2002, they founded New Beginnings as a nonprofit Florida corporation which then obtained tax exempt status from the IRS as a Public Charity.
Through Divine Providence and Miss Ginny’s wise counsel, New Beginnings acquired a large property which had previously been used as an Assisted Living Facility. This property became the main campus for New Beginnings Transitional Housing Program. New Beginnings acquired a second property on Nebraska Avenue which currently houses its Emergency Shelter.
Over time, New Beginnings has built a team of dedicated, professional staff and a network of collaborative partnerships which are critical in sustaining a holistic approach. This approach includes basic needs (food, clothing & shelter), rehabilitation, life skills training, counseling, case management, adult education, employment assistance (assessment, training & placement) and permanent housing placement.
Over the years, New Beginnings has developed a primary emphasis on assisting homeless and struggling veterans who constitute 25% of the total homeless population. Veterans have unique needs and therefore, New Beginnings developed a special program for homeless veterans designed to engage them with the existing network of veteran resources. New Beginnings works closely with the Veterans Administration and has been lauded for it impressive success rate. Since its inception, New Beginnings has helped over 10,000 homeless persons recover and transform their lives. As families are re-united, there are often children who have been affected which is an area of special concern. Therefore, New Beginnings is launching a Youth Mentoring Program to build strong, trusting relationships, positive attitudes and life skills for at-risk children. In the tradition of its founders, New Beginnings continues to operate the Hunger Relief Program which distributes nutritious food to struggling families and the homeless who are still living on the streets.
Dr. Atchison also serves on the Board of Directors for several community organizations which advocate for social justice. Dr. Atchison was named a “Local Hero” through the Bank of America Neighborhood Excellence Initiative Award, and he received the Community Hero Award from the Tampa Bay Lightning for his work at New Beginnings. The New Beginnings staff listed below is assisted by a dedicated group of community volunteers.
Dr. Thomas E. Atchison
Director of Emergency Shelter
Virginia Hess Atchison
Assistant Women’s Director
Assistant Women’s Director