In the News

Hope House Newsletters

Have a comfortable seat. Close the door so we can have a private conversation. Smiles of welcome and the sharing begins. We celebrate the successes. “My daughter loves playing with the other kids and is feeling at home here.”“I made that phone call and found a great resource.” “ I have an interview!” “ I’m getting along better with my mom.” “ I accomplished all my goals last week!” Then comes the harder conversations. Every…

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From September 2017 to September 2018, donors gave over $200,000 to Community of Hope. In addition, 98 volunteers gave 2600 hours of their talent and time to the work we are doing. Without these gifts, we would not be able to provide shelter or stability for anyone!  And while we immensely appreciate all the help, we know that often when we think of homeless families, we look at what we can do for them. Sometimes…

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The past year has been a testament of the incredible community that is built when people come together in many ways to help their neighbors.  From September 2017 to September 2018, you all raised $208,700! Your contributions funded shelter and stability for over 100 adults and children, provided resources for 400 mentoring sessions, and allowed opportunities for over 600 classroom hours.  These gifts give families the care, tools, and opportunities they need to follow in…

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Without personal context the massive scale of the homelessness issue, and potential solutions, tends to ride on the egos of the ones doing the “fixing.” At Community of Hope, we know that context, and relationship, is everything, especially when we believe that those experiencing homelessness are absolutely capable of transformative growth and healing. We also know that no two stories are the same, but HOPE is a common theme for a reason. Meet Rich. Before…

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City officials from the United States Conference of Mayors identified lack of affordable housing as the leading cause of homelessness among unaccompanied individuals. This was followed by poverty, mental health and the lack of needed services, and substance abuse. Housing affordability in Portland has continued to decline as rents and home prices continue to climb, outpacing incomes. The average monthly rent in Portland rose 7 percent between 2015 and 2016. That was the fourth consecutive…

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IMG_1483 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.

Stephen Dilworth and Ali Craven worked as a team to MC our event. Lindsay Jensen, the Executive Director of the St. Johns Center of Opportunity shared some troubling statistics demonstrating the lack of affordable housing in our community and the great need the families here face. Libra Forde, Chief Operating Officer of Self Enhancement Inc. shared her story and the importance of having support in finding a home.

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IMG_1483 Impacting families’ lives is our job at Community of Hope. We want them to both heal from past trauma and to find safe and stable homes. How can we tell if we have been successful? How do we know if parents or children have made any progress?
Seeing if residents continue to not retraumatize is easy. Maggie is clean and has the tools to stay clean. She is not returning to the abusive relationship she had in the past. She now has a stable place to live and the income to pay the bills. Over 75% of the families who complete our program move into a safe place.
Measuring if residents grew and healed is a bit more subjective.

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IMG_1483 This week, a woman donated a Fisher Price Nativity set to Community of Hope. She shared it with the children who have a home to live in this Christmas instead of being homeless. One of the moms told me that her daughter thought it was animals in a barn. She was right of course. But it is so much more. I started thinking about how I could tell this little girl the story of Christmas. It is just a story of a family who traveled to a different town and couldn’t find a place to live, so they stayed with the animals in the barn and happened to have a baby that night. Just a nice story. But then the strange stuff starts happening. Shepherd see angels (How do you explain what they are?) They come to visit this family with the story of what the angels said, that this child was the Savior. And what does that mean? How can I tell her about how God loves us so much that He choose to be one of us? How do you explain to a 4-year-old that Jesus wants to forgive us and set us free? Next, I would have to explain that the camel is not a cow, and that important people somehow knew this child was special, even worth traveling a long way to come to see him and bringing strange gifts.

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IMG_1483 Adverse Childhood experiences impact all the families at Community of Hope. Our job is to help parents and children heal while they are here.

When Maggie’s family moved into Hope House, they had their own room and knew they could stay there for a while. Maggie was no longer in an abusive relationship and was not using drugs. Her children were reunited with her.

That’s the first step: making sure the children are not continuing to be traumatized. At Community of Hope, we are drug and alcohol free, we have no tolerance for physical or verbal abuse, and families have a safe place to stay for a while. They are surrounded by people who love and support them. Our staff are supportive, encouraging, and help keep everyone safe by enforcing our rules.

Making sure families have a safe place to live leads to the second step:

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