The HOPES (Helping Others by Providing Emergency Shelter) Homeless Resource Center is a place to go when there is nowhere else to go. HOPES serves as a home-base for those who need a place to stay and assistance to get back into housing. It is not a place to just hang out, but truly a resource center to assist those who want to become self-sufficient. Every guest is assigned a case manager who works with them to establish goals, weekly action steps, and connect them with the appropriate services to help. Additionally, HOPES provides things like food, computer access, phone, laundry, shower facilities, and overnight shelter in the winter months.
HOPES opened October 1, 2012 and provided shelter to 140 different individuals through April 21, 2013. In our first season, we helped 115 of those 140 individuals to get back into some type of housing. We averaged over 20 guests per night for our first season. In the first four months of our second season we have averaged about 25 per night, mostly from families.
Jubilee is working hand-in-hand with Lebanon County Christian Ministries who is coordinating the overnight emergency shelter program through local host churches. The following stories are from just a few of our guests.
A mother and son came to the HOPES Resource Center on the first morning it opened. They had been sleeping in a hospital waiting room after a family dispute left them with nowhere to go. Thanks to the HOPES program they had a safe place to stay while they got back on their feet. Through partnership with the Community Action Program (CAP), HOPES staff learned of a vacancy in one of their transition houses. The mother and son, who had been overnight guests for four weeks, were accepted into the transitional housing program and they received the keys to their own apartment! Though their time with HOPES is finished, the Community Action Program continues to work with the family on job readiness and financial literacy. Thanks to the help of local ministries, community agencies, and churches, this family is now doing well.
Not long after the Center opened, a couple came in seeking shelter. They had camped at various parks throughout the summer, but came to HOPES as the nights grew colder. During the intake, we discovered that the gentleman had a history of heart problems and had been without medication for some time. While they were overnight guests, he was able to get medical attention. This past week, he underwent a lifesaving procedure. There was 90% blockage in his heart. HOPES staff is so glad to be a part of his healing process. Through another local ministry, a place was found for the couple to stay during his recovery. After returning to the HOPES Resource Center and continue to work toward their goals, this couple was able to get their own place.
On Friday, November 16th, 2012 a grand opening/ribbon cutting ceremony was held with great success. Representatives from local government, churches, social service agencies, friends, and family celebrated this new arm of ministry. Guests toured the facility and listened to a presentation about the HOPES program as a part of National Homeless and Hunger Awareness Week. There is no doubt HOPES is meeting a need in the community and making a difference in the lives of the people we serve.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
At HOPES, we are in constant need of volunteers. If you or someone you know may be interested in helping, please stop by the Lebanon office to fill out an application. You can also help by donating laundry detergent (HE certified), deodorant, sugar, or canned meals or soups. Items cans be dropped off at the Lebanon office or the resource center at 12 N 9th Street, Lebanon.