Our Raise Hope 2018 Gala was a huge success!
We surpassed our goal of $60,000 to raise over $70,000. This will allow us to not only support families in healing and growth, but also provide more support in finding housing in this tight housing market.
Did you attend? See if you can find a picture of yourself here! You weren’t there? Read about all the highlights from the night and check out all these smiles!
Attendees of the gala were welcomed into University of Portland’s Bauccio Commons by beautiful rose centerpieces gracing each of the tables, the artistry of local musicians, John Van Beek’s Djang
Lindsay Jensen, Executive Director of St. Johns Center for Opportunity led the evening by giving a report on the housing challenge in our community.
Based on findings from a study of Portland State’s Masters in Urban Planning students, the housing market is becoming tighter for low income families. In spite of new housing in our community, less is available for families on a fixed income. Until a 3-person household makes at least 80% of median family income or $44,000 a year, they can’t afford to live in North Portland and most of the city without being cost burdened (paying over half their income on housing.)
Keynote speaker, Libra Forde, Chief Operating Officer of Self Enhancement Inc. shared her personal story of overcoming domestic violence and homelessness as a single mom.
She learned that HOPE means Hang On. Pain Ends. With support of agencies similar to Community of Hope, she was able to overcome her challenges, her children were able to heal, and she is now a successful, confident leader in our community. She challenged the audience to support Community of Hope, who provides the kind of help that she and her family needed.
Linda Jo Devlaeminck, Program Director of Community of Hope, shared a video of April and her daughter, Infinity, past residents of Community of Hope, who were able to find housing against all odds and are enjoying their own home for the first time in their lives.
She reviewed the work they have been doing to help parents and children overcome Adverse Childhood Experiences like homelessness, living with adults that use drugs, witnessing or experiencing domestic violence, or being bullied. They have been able to celebrate many successes! However, all this will do no good without a stable home to move into when they leave. We asked for additional funding to support a part time housing specialist to teach RentWell, a tenant education class, mentor families as they look for housing, build relationships with funding resources to help them get into housing, and build relationships with landlords to open doors to homeless families. Charlotte Mitchell-Reese, our staff person working on this, is already making great progress and is eager to have more time to make a greater impact. Thanks to you, we can now give her more hours to do this vital work.
And our volunteer team made the evening a smooth and pleasant event. We could not do this without you!
Watch the video below to learn more about the journey toward home for past Community of Hope resident, April, and her daughter, Infinity.
Eight lucky people won the “keys” to the Raffle baskets. Just like some families wait to see if they find a place, the anticipation was high!
Ben Forgarty, of The Brigade, was the winning bidder for the special Legacy Shower Shadowbox.
Before renovations in the summer of 2016, residents used a shower trailer that was available only 3 days a week for two hours at a time. With the real showers, we are now a home, not just a place to sleep. We auction this special item off each year and the highest bidder gets to sign it and then it spends the year hanging in our shower room as powerful reminder to the residents of the many supportive people who have given to make Hope House a reality.