Hope House is a an emergency shelter and housing provider for the homeless that was established in 1987. It was created to provide a safe, temporary refuge for people who had no place to sleep. Over the years, Hope House has evolved into a comprehensive, multi-service provider for low income people. Hope House began as a collaborative effort of five local churches.
The churches, which committed human talents and resources to the creation of the shelter, were Bethany Presbyterian Church, New Hope United Church of Christ, St. Alphonsus Church, St. Patrick's Congregation, and St. John's Episcopal Church. The shelter began in the basement of St. John's Episcopal Church, primarily serving single, male adults. The shelter was only open on an overnight basis due to the lack of an operating budget or operating philosophy, which made it impossible to provide direct assistance to the homeless or to help them overcome daily problems. Later, in 1988, the shelter moved to St. Patrick's Congregation and used three classrooms in the school building to shelter men, women, and as the need arose, families.
By 1989, it was evident that a more permanent shelter was needed. More families were seeking shelter and the children needed to be indoors during the day. The long process of first purchasing and then rehabilitating a building on the corner of Second Street and Orchard began. The rehabilitation process was expensive and time consuming and never would have succeeded without the support of the people in the community donating time, supplies, money, and talent. The building was named Hope House to recognize the inner city ministry of Pastor Sandra Graham and the congregation of New Hope United Church of Christ for their tireless and extensive help during this challenging time.
In February of 1990, the rehabilitation of the building was complete. In 1996, Hope House began a new approach to serving the homeless, one which is based on a "Continuum of Care" model. The completion of a 15 month construction project funded with $1.2 million in grants, donations from local corporations, foundations, churches and individuals, converted the homeless shelter into a transitional settlement house.
Today, men, women, and children staying at Hope House are able to access a comprehensive set of services including a primary health care clinic, a large food pantry, a child care center, an Education center, a job placement program, and intensive case management services. Each year, Hope House provides shelter and supportive services to over 2,000 men, women and children. It is our goal to continue to find solutions to their problems by providing them with the resources they need to regain their independence and maintain a life of self-sufficiency.