Cecily Ballungay is in the business of giving people hope.
The HOPE Ministries executive director oversees three shelters that cater to homeless families as well as homeless mothers with children.
The non-profit organization not only gives families temporary shelter with stays ranging from 30 to 90 days but they assist them with budgeting, job placement and counseling to make sure they can stand on their own two feet. That also includes helping them secure housing after their stay is up at the shelters.
Last year HOPE Ministries assisted 240 homeless people of which most were children.
Giving hope to people costs money. The shelters are on a tight budget of $150,000. Only $30,000 of the money needed to operate the shelters each year comes from government sources. The rest is secured through donations and grants from churches, clubs, and individuals.
One way individuals or groups can help the shelter provide assistance is to “Adopt a Room” at Raymus House on Union Road that houses mothers and their children.
“It can range from helping paint it to buying linen, pillows, and towels for a new family when they move in,” Ballungay told the Manteca Rotarians during a recent meeting at Ernie’s.
She said the commitment for the Adopt a Room program can be tailored to what a group is able to do.
HOPE Ministries was launched in 1991 by the Greater Manteca Ministerial Association.
Churches not only provide the seed money and the framework to help housing challenged families, including those on the streets and those who do not know from week to week where they will be saying whether it is sleeping in someone’s garage or on their couches, but they are also the biggest sources of funds for ongoing operations.
Churches financially supporting HOPE Ministries today include Calvary Community, Crossroads Grace, Place of Refuge, Manteca Christian Worship Center, First Baptist Church of Ripon, First Baptist Church of Manteca, New Hope of Manteca, New Hope of Escalon, Northgate Community Church, Sequoia Heights Baptist, Southside Christian Church, and United Methodist Women.
If you would like to help HOPE Ministries, call 209.824.0658.