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Garden party raises $12,000 for HOPE Shelters

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Garden party raises $12,000 for HOPE Shelters

Hostess Laurie Raymus, standing, chats with guests Antoinette Poulos, Ted Poulos, and Ken Hafer

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED June 28, 2013 1:32 a.m.

Bob Raymus has devoted time and money for the past 10 years serving on the HOPE Family Shelter board.

His dad — the late Antone Raymus — made a former convalescent hospital available on South Union Road for the non-profit’s second shelter. And his mother Marie Raymus made arrangements this year to give ownership of that second shelter to the non-profit Hope Ministries.

And while he is appreciative of the $12,000 plus raised during Thursday’s garden party benefitting the HOPE Shelter that was conducted at the home of Marie and Kim Mathews, Raymus is more impressed with a $25 money order that comes every few months from the State of Washington.

It is sent by a woman who was able to stay at the HOPE Family Shelter with her two young children a few years back. Those two months allowed her to get her life back on track and stand financially her own two feet. Along with the money order is always a note thanking HOPE Ministries for helping her family.

“It (the $25 occasional donation) tells me a lot,” Raymus said Thursday as guests enjoyed conversation, music, and finger foods served by off-duty Manteca firefighters.

“The shelter made a difference in the life of one mother and her children. And there are many more people just like her that HOPE Family Shelter has helped.”

HOPE Ministries has a 70 percent plus success rate for those who complete their two-month stays at either the HOPE Family Shelter or the Raymus House for mothers and children. By success, that means they are able to stand on their own financially.

Thursday’s party was expected to raise over $12,000 for the operation of the shelters The non-profit agency founded by a coalition of Manteca Ministerial Association churches 21 years ago needs to raise $140,000 each year. Of that, less than 20 percent comes from federal sources. That means 80 percent of the budget has to come through private sector donations.

More than 2,100 people including children have been helped by the shelter during the past two decades. The majority of those who turn to the shelter for help often have jobs.

The reason HOPE enjoys a higher success rate than many other shelters is the fact they have mandatory classes plus allow those they shelter to stay there for 60 to 90 days treating it as their home instead of being forced out every day onto the street and not allowed back in until a certain time.

The classes include parenting kids and parents counseling done separately, and lifestyle lessons including how to manage and budget money.

The shelter is a stickler for drug testing.  Those who get in have to be clean and stay clean.

There are 23 apartments between three shelters. Six are in transitional housing where families can stay up to two years. Seven are in the HOPE Family Shelter at Yosemite and Sequoia avenues, and nine at the Raymus House on South Union Road.

Raymus House and HOPE Shelter have a 90-day maximum stay. HOPE Shelter is designed for families and Raymus House accommodates mothers and children.

Raymus House is limited by the bathroom facilities making it impractical to allow men or boys over 12 to stay there.

Those that are being helped often have jobs and can pay rent but lack money for the deposit to secure an apartment. Their stay at the shelter allows them to save money needed for a deposit.

Without HOPE Family Shelters, Ramymus said a lot of good people caught in bad situations would have nowhere to turn.

“Without the shelters, there would be families sleeping in the streets or in cars,” Raymus said.

The garden party Thursday was hosted by Raymus along with his wife Laurie and his sister Toni Raymus and husband Andrew Sephos.

If you would like to make a donation or assist HOPE Family Shelter in some way call 824-0658 or 824-3080.

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