It’s truly hard to believe, but just as the world shutdown in March of 2020, our shelter for the men of the community suffered a similar closure. Overnight, on the evening of March 18, 2020, we and our neighbors suffered a flood of approximately eighteen to twenty-four inches deep. The damage put Hope House out of commission for several months. Yet, this only highlighted the generosity of our community. Within three months of closure, and only with your help, we reopened a refurbished and renewed shelter. This generosity saved us and for that we are so dearly grateful that God is moving through your hearts to help as you can.
Being a one hundred percent grant and community-funded non-profit means we are dependent upon these generosities. We continue to fundraise and our next event is our Spring Fling Drive-By Lunch on April 15th from 11 am to 1 pm at St. Joseph’s Church, 134 W. Mound. For $6 you will be given a sloppy joe sandwich, mandarin orange, chips, bottled water, and homemade cookies. Come eat; we promise it’s delicious! Donations can also be sent to Hope House of Pickaway County at PO Box 1071, Circleville, Ohio 43113. Questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
First and foremost after the flood, we confirmed all six guests that night and our staff were safe. Then the damages needed to be cleared. Many volunteers provided the work needed and some of our guests helped too. Working side by side and enjoying themselves, all chipped in to start demolition days. Staff and guests were guided by experienced volunteer crew leaders in disposing of ruined furniture, mattresses, bed frames, food and other items. These things have almost all been replaced. With donations from the community and local businesses, we replaced drywall, sprayed to make sure the walls were secure from mold, and added a new coat of paint. Not many colors like Joseph’s coat but one deemed by the guests who painted it, “very blue” to promote calm and clear thinking. Repainted, renewed, and ready for open, Hope House reopened its doors in June.
The operation of the shelter has evolved over the course of the past year as donations have allowed for more ways to meet the needs of our guests. With donations received later in the year Hope House was able to expand our services to the men and become a shelter opened 24 hours. We also received donations of used computers to better assist guests with applying for jobs and finding apartments. Our guests are now more easily linked to our community resources.
Our board is grateful to all of you who supported us through March, April and May 2020 as we rebuilt our shelter to operating condition and to those who have supported our efforts since then. What may have been a natural phenomenon causing much damage also provided blessings. Not only was the shelter able to be redesigned and given a facelift, but we were privileged to see more of our community rise to the occasion to advocate, provide for and support our homeless men. It expanded the awareness of homelessness in our community. Our community’s heart was seen by the staff, guests and board of Hope House of Pickaway County. We thank you, our community, for working together to support the shelter even amidst a stay-at-home year.
We continue today because of your support by donating funds, food and supplies. Volunteers are also needed. We hope to be able to remain a welcomed member of our community as we provide safe, secure housing to God’s sons needing an extra bit of care and support on their journey toward independence. On average, that has meant serving up to eleven men a night and being able to provide them with both food and resources.
Our cultural expectation for men says they are self-sufficient and able to make their own way. It is true all people in our society are given opportunity and likewise just as true all people have challenges. Truth be told, not all people are prepared for these challenges or unexpected financial expenses. This is where Hope House through your provisions of support may provide our guests a helping hand with temporary housing, food, laundry facilities, showers and referrals to our community resources rather than simply a hand out. Our guests thank you for providing a safe, warm place and many delicious meals.
With each expansion and opportunity, our needs have changed as well, with challenges much like what our guests experience. Though the flood was unexpected, Hope House trusts in God’s blessing when we follow His direction and believe He will provide. The work He’s done through our community and for our guests shows us this truth. We continue to seek your prayers and pray ourselves for God’s provision to fulfill His vision for the shelter’s existence and more.
Grace has been good to us this far and we diligently pray it will continue. We want to be here to serve Pickaway County for as long as the need exists. Please consider partnering with Hope House to meet the needs of the men who need shelter from the storm, guidance toward a stable life and a safe place to stay while they work toward self-sufficiency.