UNDERSTANDING THE SEAPORT COMMUNITY
1 Billion Bananas. That’s how many Bananas came through SeaPort Manatee in 2022.
While it’s fun to imagine a mountain of Bananas stacked 1 billion high, the hard work it takes to transport that amount of fruit is less playful. Moving a Bananas shipment takes workers on the ship (Seafarers) and workers on the ground (Dockworkers). At Anchor House, those are the two groups we are here to serve: the seafarers and the dockworkers.
For every shipment of Bananas, there is a ship full of Seafarers (modern-day sailors) who are 1000s of miles away from home. These Seafarers are nearly always international citizens from all over the world who have been at sea for months (sometimes ten months) at a time. Even when they are docked, little changes for those onboard - Seafarers who do not have the appropriate visas are not permitted shore passes and cannot leave the ship while docked, meaning they are confined to the ship and small quarters months at a time. This is the situation that some seafarers find themselves in every year at SeaPort Manatee (formerly known as Port Manatee). At Anchor House, we send appointed chaplains onto the ships to share the Gospel with those who can’t go ashore. In addition, we bring treats, reading material, and a care-relief package (a ditty bag) to seafarers who stop at the SeaPort.
For the dockworkers, who are residents here in the Bay Area, receiving and transporting is incredibly taxing. But, as one of the largest economic motors in the entire region, SeaPort Manatee oversees a 5.1 Billion dollar economic impact. That is made possible by some hard workers who need rest. The facilities at Anchor House are there to give them just that: rest from the hard work. With a lounge and small snack bar, we have a lot of Dockworkers stop in and out every day.
We minister to 2 kinds of people:
at sea for months at a time
often can't go ashore
live in US
work long hours
in 2022 SeaPort Manatee oversaw a