HOPE Ministries are giving homeless single moms and kids more than just temporary shelter. They are giving them the hand up needed to stay off the streets.
A San Joaquin County annual survey that tracks the progress of all who have been placed in temporary shelters reported that 77 of the 218 mothers and children who stayed at the Raymus House — one of three shelters operated by the non-profit agency — ended back on the street in 2014. In 2015, not a single woman or child housed temporarily sheltered at Raymus House ended up back on the streets.
HOPE Executive Director Cecily Ballungay credits that to volunteers who have stepped up to help mentor clients as well as the community’s financial donations that have allowed support services to be expanded.
The non-profit also has received a $9,000 grant from Leprino Foods with $8,000 earmarked for kitchen work at Raymus House and another $1,000 to help sponser an upcoming benefit dinner on July 7 at the Manteca Transit Center. The event replaces the Summer Solstice fundraiser.
Tickets for the dinner are $50 each. The program will feature a family that has successfully avoided returning to the street. The keynote speaker is the chaplain for the Golden State Warriors.
During the past year HOPE has helped not just shelter 212 individuals from a total of72 families but also provide counseling services, assistance in job searches for those not employed, and securing housing they can afford at the end of stays that typically run 30 to 90 days and — under certain conditions — up to 120 days.
The three shelters HOPE operates are:
uHOPE Family Shelter at Yosemite and Sequoia avenues for families and single parents with boys 12 and older.
uRaymus House on Union Road for single moms with children (excluding boys 12 and older).
uTransitional housing on North Street near Doctors Hospital of Manteca where families can stay up to two years.
The non-profit operates on a $217,000 annual budget of which almost all comes from donations and private sector grants.
HOPE Family Shelters — thanks to growing community support — has been able to expand their services in the past year to help reduce recidivism.
uProject Hope that employees a client services director for case management and life issue screening, and referral services for mental health, domestic violence, and legal assistance.
uHope for a Brighter Future that provides workshops on how to deal with toxic relationships, parenting classes, and bad habits.
uChildren of Hope that provides mental health screening and assistance to children impacted by being homeless.
uHope for Mental Health that provides group and individual counselling services by an on-site marriage and family therapist.
That is in addition to efforts that existed already to help family’s budget better, stay drug free, and search for a job if they’re unemployed.
Ballungay noted that many who are homeless have jobs. They have either been hit with reduced hours or have had unexpected expenses such as medical costs.
The organization’s website is www.hopefamilyshelters.org.