Category: Blog

Transforming Joy: Light in the Darkness

IMG_1483 The biggest perk in my job is that I get to see lives change. Before families arrive at Community of Hope, they are highly stressed. Some are sleeping in cars or at a shelter packed in like sardines or in unsafe homes with abusers or well-meaning friends who are strained with the family living in their living room. When they move in, the children are so glad to have their own room and a real bed. That certainly happened with Joy’s family. The adults form friendships and begin to heal from past trauma. They face past demons and make and meet goals as the future becomes hope.

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Becoming the Village: Dream Becomes Reality

Community of Hope was just a dream when I was hired in 2012. With the support of several churches in North Portland, the community of people, churches, businesses, and agencies championing our efforts grew. Once we opened in 2014, the village of people that it would take to make Community of Hope a successful program expanded exponentially.

IMG_1483 Help this village continue to grow. Be a part of our growing community making a difference in the lives of so many families by donating to Community of Hope today.

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Epidemic of Homelessness Creates a Sea of Suffering

IMG_1483 I keep getting phone calls. People know we are full and still they hope. I hear story after story of desperate families. “The shelter is overflowing.” “There is no good place to go.” “Where can me and my kids sleep tonight?”

“As a family advocate I work with many homeless families, visiting them in restaurants or on the streets as they carry their children and all their belongings packed in a stroller or live out of their cars… Knowing that there is a place where families will be valued and respected and given tools to make significant life changes is huge and makes all the difference when you work in what sometimes seems to be a sea of suffering. Tru Tate, Lifeworks Family Advocate

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A Journey of Hope: Joy’s Story

IMG_1483 Joy’s journey started out to be very difficult. “I had no security, bouncing around between family and friends. I was in and out of jobs because I didn’t have stable transportation. It was very stressful. I was afraid I would never find a place to live because of my eviction background and because I didn’t have a stable job, which made life that much harder.”
Joy is a single mom. She had her first child in high school, then a second. She worked hard to be a good mom, finish school, and make a life for herself and her children. She struggled to find a good relationship, wanting to be loved and successful. But the deck seemed to be stacked against her.

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Renovations Progress

IMG_1483 From the time that Red Sea offered to lease Hope House to us, we have been planning to remodel the space to increase our capacity and to make it more livable for the residents. It has been a long slow process! Here are some of the highlights. Click on links to see previous blogs with more pictures and stories. Check out our Facebook pictures too!

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Sacrificial Giving: Why do it?

IMG_1483How much is enough? This is a question we all must face. My husband and I look at it in two ways. How much is enough for our family’s needs? And how much is enough for us to give?

We have valid concerns about our own needs and wants. We want to take responsibility to plan for our retirement. And, we deserve a reward for our labors, don’t we?

On the other hand, we look at how rich we are!

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Rebekah’s Story

IMG_1483Rebekah and three-year-old Miggy arrived eager to be part of this neighborhood. Because she has a history of ADHD that she works hard to manage, she took some time to get settled and adjusted to life here. She began to get to know the other residents and the neighbors, looked for ways she could serve others, and shared her love of art. When she was ready, she began looking for a job and for childcare for Miggy. She found the Rent Well classes very helpful as she prepared to get her own place. The Genesis Process classes helped her face some personal issues. She worked hard to overcome …

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Kim’s Story

IMG_1483Kim and her children heard about us through the Portland Women Crisis Line. She had to leave her husband and was staying at a Recovery Association Project (RAP) house for a while, but it was not a healthy situation. She has not had a stable home since she was a teen, and was ready for a new start in her life. She asked for a place in …

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Sarah’s Graduation

4 This weekend we celebrated Sarah’s graduation from the Community of Hope. She is the first to complete our program! We are proud of her hard work, grateful for her leadership, and happy for her as she…

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IMG_1483Brittany has not had a real home for years. Her parents went to jail when she was young. Her grandparents offered her a home, but she frequently ran away and spent most of her teen years in correctional facilities, forming close friendships with the other girls who lived there. Brittany found herself caught up in a lifestyle that was fun and exciting. But when she became pregnant, she decided to leave it behind and create a new life for herself and her baby.

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IMG_1483When Karla enters the room, everyone notices her. Her enthusiasm for life and her great efforts to build a new life give her drive and direction.
Karla grew up in North Portland, but left for many years as she shared life with her boyfriend. They moved to the Midwest. But upon arriving, her boyfriend decided he did not want to live with her anymore. He dropped Karla and seven-year old Elsie off on the street. Karla managed to get to a homeless shelter and eventually made her way back home to Portland.

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