FACES OF HOPE
When Blake H came up the 19 steps of HOPE, it wasn’t because he was struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, mental health issues, or coming out of incarceration… he had a good job with Amazon and had put his past drug issues long ago behind him. What he stated led him into homelessness was the rising cost of just about everything: gas, food, clothing (mainly for his two kids that he wanted to support even though they weren’t living with him), and even haircuts! The last straw was when the house he was renting was sold, and the new landlord raised rent by over 20%.
Jason J experienced a similar issue when he contracted COVID and suffered from long COVID for several months. The fatigue, exhaustion, and other symptoms caused him to miss so much work that eventually he was let go. Having never been homeless before, the emotional trauma of coming to a shelter merely exacerbated his physical issues and he considered checking himself into a behavioral health center. But in his words, “God led me to HOPE… both in the literal sense (to the mission) but also to a place that has met all my needs until I was fully recovered.” Being fully recovered as of July, Jason was able to go back to his employer, Reading Truck and Body, where he’s welding again and training others.
Rising Costs, Rising Needs
These two briefs stories are just two examples of what is happening all over the US… but specifically here at HRM we have seen a huge uptick in homelessness, and in many cases first time homelessness due to the rising cost of living and mitigating circumstances out of many folks control. We see the impact of inflation not only affecting the guests of HOPE Rescue, but also in our ministry across the board. We have experienced the rising food costs in providing three meals a day for the nearly 150 men sheltered in our facility, and the scarcity of food, cleaning products, not to mention the ever-rising costs of construction and materials as we forge forward with the building of our Lighthouse Womens and Childrens Center.
We acknowledge that everyone is experiencing the same burden of rising costs, investment portfolios dipping, and the prospect that what we make just isn’t getting us what it could 12 short months ago. That is why first and foremost we want to thank you for your generous support. HOPE has weathered the pandemic and economic shutdown of 2020 and the aftermath that has brought us to where we stand today, and it is solely because of generous HRM donors like you. But now more than ever, we want to continue to provide the shelter, food, and the spiritual, vocational, and educational resources that created the standard of excellence HRM only dreamed of providing ten years ago. We don’t want to sacrifice programming and valuable opportunities for our guests who perhaps for the first time need those very things to restore their lives. So if you are able and God stirs your heart, we humbly ask for your donation today. Together we can help people like Blake and Jason get back out there into permanent independent housing, and show them the love of Christ in the process!