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Where did House of Hope come from?
In the winter of 2020, the Salvation Army couldn’t reopen its warming center for the unsheltered population due to COVID-19 restrictions. In response to the sudden need, two thrift stores came together to brainstorm ways to offer a safe space for individuals to escape the harsh elements. Unsure of how to open a shelter, a few people from Riley’s Treasures Thrift Store and Caring Community Thrift jumped in to fill the gap and began transforming a thrift store into a home.
Moving one step at a time, Tracy and Jeremy quickly transformed an unused room at Riley’s Treasures thrift store into a homey, warm shelter which opened that very winter. But they couldn’t do it alone. The Branson community quickly came together to fund building improvements and purchase necessary items such as cots, sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, laundry soap, snacks, dog food, and hygiene products. Additionally, local restaurants donated hot evening meals to fill countless hungry bellies.
The first year we were open 55 nights with 25 cots available. Volunteers ran the warming center every night and quickly began building relationships with our guests. When winter came to a close, volunteers struggled with the idea that it would be several months before they would see many individuals again. Realizing how deeply they loved and cared for our guests, the team came together once again and created an advocacy center to provide year-round services.
Opening the Advocacy Office
The advocacy office launched in July of 2021. It was founded on a desire to be the hands and feet of Jesus to our guests and assist them in creating long-term positive change. In less than a year of opening, we assisted 343 households, 544 individual clients, and managed over 3833 general cases in total. At House of Hope, we do not have programs. Every individual that walks through the door has a unique story and rarely fits into a neat box. Individuals need appropriate tools in order to find true freedom and healing. Since opening, we’ve been able to love and provide resources to the unsheltered, those struggling with addiction, impoverished individuals, and those impacted by mental illness. We also offer services to those laid off from their jobs or people who have recently fallen on hard times. We hope to be the agency that does whatever it takes to see lives changed.
How many people have we seen since then?
We hope to continue growing and expanding. Earlier this year, House of Hope finally received our 501c3 status to be recongnized as an official nonprofit! We are encouraged to see that in less than a year, numerous difficult barriers have begun to to shift and open up. As a new non-profit, Doors of Hope INC. is excited to open many doors to promote positive life change. Be on the lookout for updates as we pursue mental health services, detox facilities, sober living, and simply loving people amid hardship.