Mission & Vision
We Are Here To Serve
Talbot House Ministries was founded as a place of hope for the hungry, the homeless, and the poor.
We plant seeds of hope in the hearts of all who comes through our doors, starting by meeting their basic needs. Beyond that, we facilitate long-term life renewal through our comprehensive programs and services. Talbot House has grown from humble beginnings into Polk County’s largest provider of services to adults experiencing homelessness. We are supported by a wide variety of faith-based partners from various denominations to meet the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of clients from all walks of life.
Through the love of God, Talbot House Ministries provides those in need with immediate basic services and opportunities for life renewal.
To empower all who come through our doors to become self-sufficient, productive members of society.
Talbot House Ministries is named after Venerable Matt Talbot, who lived in Dublin, Ireland from 1856 to 1925. After overcoming a 16-year struggle with alcoholism, Matt became a devout servant of God to the poor, homeless, and others in his community. The story of his life’s renewal has become an inspiration to many people around the world.
Talbot House was founded in 1979 by St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Lakeland, Florida. At first, operating as a soup kitchen for the homeless, the organization moved into a building on Massachusetts Ave. In time it expanded its reach to become a multi-denominationally supported ministry.
Over the next ten years, Talbot House expanded its programs and services to include an overnight shelter, a residential program, and a volunteer-led medical clinic. The Good Samaritan Free Clinic, as it came to be known, was established in the mid-1990s by a local physician and three nurse practitioners who saw the need for basic medical care for the homeless. In the late 1990s, Talbot House was informed that its building would have to be demolished to make way for the extension of Bartow Highway. After a capital campaign, a new facility was built at our current Kentucky Ave. location in June 2001.
Our current facility enabled us to expand the programs and services we offer to the homeless. In 2008, Talbot House grew its affordable housing portfolio to 30 units with the opening of Fellowship Hall. In 2010, Talbot House began placing a greater emphasis on job skills training and placement for our clients. We were approved by the State of Florida to provide on-the-job training and Vocational Rehabilitation services in 2011. In 2019, the City of Lakeland donated two apartment buildings on Vermont Ave. to Talbot House Ministries for use as additional affordable housing. Talbot House raised the capital to renovate these 16 units, which opened in 2021 to house the chronically homeless, veterans, and those with disabilities.
As the needs of our community continue to grow, so does Talbot House. In 2023, Talbot House partnered with the developers of Plateau Village to further increase our housing portfolio. Diversion and outreach pilot programs have also been launched to better serve families and unsheltered homeless across Polk County.
The soup kitchen of its early years has now become a multi-service support agency for the poor and homeless. Our legacy and breadth of services make Talbot House the most comprehensive care center in Polk County.
If you have never been to Talbot House, we encourage you to see firsthand the good work being done by scheduling a tour.