Wholesome Community Ministries

Wholesome Community MinistriesWEST REGION
$701,750 FCLF loan
Land & building acquisition and renovation
9,200 sq. ft. building

In rural southern Hillsborough County, Florida lies the town of Wimauma, a community with a large low-income population where 29% of residents have no health insurance. Pastor Carlos Irizarry, a nurse and paramedic with over 15 years of medical experience, believes medical and pastoral duties go hand-in-hand, to help those in the community enjoy a better life. Carlos Irizarry is pastor of Wholesome Community Ministries, a church whose congregation has a vision for their community: to promote health in spirit, mind and body, one person and one family at a time.

In 2012, one of the church’s first major initiatives was to develop a series of health fairs for the Wimauma community. These have grown from 100 participants to over 2,500 – of whom 1,500 are children.  WCM leased its location for over 6 years, and when the owner expressed an interest in selling the land and buildings, the church knew the time was right to resume and build their healthcare mission in the freedom of owning the property.

With financing from Florida Community Loan Fund, WCM purchased the land and 9,200 square foot building. The first project to take shape will be the New Generations Academy preschool, with a focus on the whole child, including health and wellness. After establishment of the preschool, the church will turn its focus towards new initiatives: creation of a healthcare clinic, a commercial kitchen that can be used for nutrition education and culinary job training, an organic vegetable farm, and extended youth activities to include after-school and weekend programs.

The Lucca Specialty and Wellness Center to be established at this location will be a clinic with an emphasis on mental health and personalized bilingual health coaches. The clinic will be developed in partnership with ECHO, a national provider offering consulting, coaching, and start-up resources. Allegany Franciscan Ministries has granted funds to 27 area programs with a focus on improving health and lives of Wimauma residents, including WCM. Allegany Franciscan Ministries is also a long-time supporter of Florida Community Loan Fund.

Learn more about Wholesome Community Ministries at www.wholesomechurch.org

WCM is also featured in these articles:
83 Degrees Media, May 17, 2017
ABC Action News, June 26, 2017 

Pictured above, Wholesome Community Ministries church. Below, Pastor Carlos Irizarry

Wholesome Community Ministries, Pastor Carlos

"We couldn't achieve our mission of creating strong neighborhoods without FCLF's help. Their staff is always friendly, quick to respond, and efficient." – Bonnye Deese, Executive Director

BAND

"Trinity Health is happy to partner with FCLF. We look forward to seeing the impact in the communities you serve." – Sr. Kathleen Coll, SSJ, Administrator, Shareholder Advocacy

Trinity Health

"We appreciate the accomplishments your organization attains." - Robert Sucher, Executive VP

Sabadell United Bank

"FCLF understands and is a part of what we are doing: helping families have the American dream of owning a home." – Isaac Simhon, Executive Director

Housing Programs, Inc.

"Our partnership with FCLF will allow us to build an attractive, state of the art facility that patients, staff, and community will be proud of." – Bakari Burns, President-CEO

Orange Blossom Family Health

"FCLF made it possible for us to provide many special needs and low-income students with the educational services that they need." – Charlotte Tollefson, Director & Founder

Woodlawn Community Academy

"FCLF has proven its community impact and hard work. We are proud to partner with FCLF." – Leslie Watson, Analyst, Community Investments

Dignity Health

"Thank you to our friends at FCLF. Your staff has been patient and helpful. We'll make you proud!" – Bill Lazar, Executive Director

St. Johns Housing Partnership

“The partnership with FCLF is very exciting for us – an essential component in providing greater access to fresh healthy food in downtown New Port Richey.” – Jeff Wright, Owner

Wright's Natural Market

"Without the FCLF initial loan to purchase land, we might not have been able to move forward with farmworker housing." – Peter Routsis-Arroyo, CEO, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice

Casa San Juan Bosco

"We look forward to continuing our successful relationship with FCLF and working together to meet the needs of our communities." – Nancy Merolla, VP/CRA Officer

Florida Community Bank

"The Fathers Table Foundation appreciates the services FCLF provides and the impact on the communities you serve. We believe in your organization and your mission." – Dan Gilardi, President

Fathers Table Foundation

"FCLF was instrumental in making this important project a reality, bringing us one step closer to ending chronic homelessness in Miami-Dade County." – Dr. Paul A. Ahr, President & CEO

Camillus House

"I recommend FCLF for attracting investment to the Florida Preservation Fund... I believe that says something about investor comfort." – Nancy Muller, Policy Director

Florida Housing Finance Corp.

"Without FCLF's support, we would not have been able to deliver the services our area so desperately needs. We look forward to a lifetime relationship." – Tom Griffin, CEO

The Transition House, Inc.

"I appreciate FCLF for lending in rural areas, where many other lenders are exiting. From the first moment we spoke with FCLF staff, we felt we had a partner." – Jamie Kerr, President, AMCS Dev.

Griffin Heights

"Aida Palms will be a lasting asset to the City of Lakeland. This revitalization wouldn't be possible without financing partners like FCLF." – Mitchell Rosenstein, Principal, Green Mills Group

Aida Palms

"FCLF shows a clear strategy and demonstrated evidence of addressing prevalent community needs." – J. Reymundo Ocañas, Director, Corp Responsibility

BBVA Compass

"FCLF staff shares our vision and commitment to serve needy families and provide a high quality education to all children." – Thomas Cole, Founder

Emma Jewel Charter Academy

"Cade Museum is proud to be partners with FCLF and JPMorgan Chase. Thanks to the NMTC Program, we will provide a transformative asset to our community." – Jennifer Denault, COO

Cade Museum for Creativity & Inventi…

FCLF Videos

View video testimonials from FCLF partners.
  • Florida Community Loan Fund helped Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County with New Markets Tax Credits
  • FCLF and Operation New Hope, Restoring Jacksonville’s Springfield Community
  • FCLF and SW Florida Collaboratory, Bringing Stability to a Fort Myers Neighborhood
  • FCLF and CDC of Tampa, Stability in East Tampa Neighborhoods
  • FCLF and The Transition House: Building Blocks for U.S. Veterans
  • FCLF and Wendover Housing: Building Blocks for An Aging Population
  • FCLF and CFHC: Building Blocks for Low Income Healthcare
  • FCLF, Reflecting on the Past, Shaping the Future
  • FCLF, Planning for Florida's Future: CASA St. Petersburg
  • FCLF, Planning for Florida's Future: Housing Programs, Inc., Miami
Our Vision Opportunity and dignity exist for every person and community in Florida.
Our Mission Our expertise and capital make projects successful and help organizations improve lives and communities.