Our Vision

Joining together to eliminate poverty.

Our Mission

​JTEP was created to foster positive relationships between families, community, and organizations in order to raise awareness and to eradicate the consequences of poverty.

Our Story

It all started in a pancake house in East Tampa.  The future co-founder of Joining Together Eliminating Poverty (J.T.E.P) spoke to her date for hours about her dreams to help other families just like hers.  A Sophomore in college with a two-year-old daughter at home, Alayna knew that she needed to make a better future for more than just herself.  She remembers the complications of riding the bus with a toddler, and the high cost of daycare and diapers.


Little did she know that so much would be birthed from that one night. Her date became her loving and supportive husband, and now with the pregnancy and birth of their 3rd child, Alayna was inspired to make her dream of helping families a reality.  Along with her "mother-in-love", Melody, they have launched J.T.E.P. to help other moms, dads, and the babies they welcome into the world.


The founders of J.T.E.P. recognize how important it is to support these families; to show them and their children love and compassion, and more importantly, encourage them to be the best that they can be.  They realize what it takes to break the cycle of poverty for these parents and their children, and they are dedicated to helping families make and obtain their goals.


They understand that as J.T.E.P. was just beginning, they would have to stay focused on a few programs.  However, they strive to keep their minds and hearts open for how they will grow in the future.


J.T.E.P's goal is not to simply give a hand-out to people in need; that would only "help" them for a moment.  Their goal is to empower their clients, help to give them hope and a future to be excited about and work towards.  They want to give tools, love, and inspiration to the families that really want it.

Alayna Vernon

I love being a wife and a mom to 4 wonderful kiddos.  My family is my inspiration!  I am an alumni of University of South Florida, who loves to draw, paint, act, and sing loudly and off-key in the car with my family.

Melody Haynes

I love my grandkids (all 22 of them!)

I am a City of Tampa retiree and former business owner who loves to do puzzles and explore Tampa and its beaches with my grandkids in tow.  I also enjoy serving and helping people!

Our Founders