Second Saturday volunteers helped get work started on upgrading the exterior appearance of HOPE Ministries’ seven transitional housing units in the neighborhood east of Doctors Hospital.
The small army of volunteers organized as part of the monthly community outreach effort of Crossroads Grace Community Church painted the bulk of the outside of the duplexes Saturday.
HOPE Ministries Executive Director Dave Thompson said help is still needed to clean up the yards by putting down grass and other landscaping improvements.
The nonprofit organization relies heavily on community support to maintain the three homeless shelters it operates plus cover the $155,000 annual budget.
A little more than 10 years ago, state and federal grants covered $125,000 of the annual budget. Now almost 80 percent comes from donations from churches, individuals, businesses, and fundraisers. Just $23,000 comes from the federal government. The state, which made a big fanfare about helping the homeless as the housing crisis unfolded, hasn’t contributed a penny in years to the HOPE Shelters and many other similar organizations throughout California.
The Summer Solstice backyard party last month raised $10,000. A wine tasting at Delicato Vineyards as well as the Kids in the Box effort will take place in September.
There are 55 people staying at any given time in HOPE’s three shelters. Stays are limited to two months except for transitional housing where a family can stay up to two years.
For various reasons ranging from medical issues to unexpected expenses or reduction in hours — they had been unable to pay rent. The stay in the shelter gives them time to save up the first month and deposit. In many cases they also learn to budget wiser.
As a result, they have a 70 percent plus success rate of people not needing to rely on shelters again.
Families and single moms prior to coming to the shelter spend their time between living in cars or campgrounds and securing motel rooms when they can or else bounced from place to place sleeping on couches or in garages.
Thompson noted that HOPE Shelters have helped close to 5,000 people since the doors to the first shelter opened 21 years ago.
If you would like to know how you can help HOPE Ministries contact Thompson at 209.824.0658.