Eighty-two families were given hope during 2017.
They are the 250 plus children, mothers and fathers who have been sheltered in one of three housing complexes operated by the non-profit HOPE Ministries.
They are in addition to roughly 150 others HOPE Ministries’ Homeless Prevention & Outreach program launched last January has helped either in their struggle to keep a roof over their heads to avoid becoming homeless or have assisted in other ways.
As 2017 draws to a close, HOPE Family Shelters Executive Director Cecily Ballungay gives the organization’s efforts “a humble A” for successes.
uAn unheard of 53 percent placement rate into permanent housing of those who have gone through the organization’s shelters that typically includes a three-month stay during which times they learn money management, coping skills, sharpen their employability, and more while saving up their resources for the necessary security deposit and first month’s rent. Many of HOPE’s clients already have jobs.
uThe successful launch of the outreach effort that has reached several benchmarks that weren’t on the radar when it was started.
uWorking with the Manteca Homeless Task Force to help address issues involving the homeless on the streets.
uSuccess at partnering with the Manteca Unified School District to help students who have been “couch surfing” to get them into stable living situations which in turn improve their academic performance and increase their chances of being employed after high school graduation.
The growth in programs and ability to serve more in need more effectively has been done without the revenue needle moving much.
The non-profit has a $300,000 annual operating budget of which only $40,000 comes from government sources. The rest is donated by churches, corporations, and individuals.
“I definitely want to give a shout out to the corporations, churches and those people that have made individual donations for helping us make a (difference in people’s lives),” Ballungay said.
Ballungay said in-kind donations have allowed HOPE to direct more of its resources into programs that are helping reduce the recidivism rate for homeless clients.
She noted firms such as John Deere Tractor, church groups, and organizations such as the Manteca Police Chief’s Foundation have stepped up and adopted rooms. Not only do they make sure the rooms are maintained and painted but they provide linens and other items that would have had to come out of the operating budget.
HOPE will be able to keep the Raymus House for single moms on Union Road open— one of their three shelters — thanks to a $200,000 pass through federal Community Development Block Grant the Manteca City Council provided to address pressing plumbing issues. That work will take place in early 2018.
Ballungay said high on their wish list for the future is securing a portable building to place behind the Raymus House to provide day care for moms in the shelters so they can pursue computer studies, access life skill workshops, and job hunt with minimum interruptions.
HOPE Family Shelters is also looking to secure the services of a marriage and family therapist.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org