House of Hope turns 25 years old this year! Since 1995, House of Hope has helped hundreds of women and families out of homelessness in the Cedar Valley. In the last year, House of hope has expanded services and added multiple programs to help more women and families out of homelessness and poverty.
In the summer of 2019, House of Hope added a career employment program called Boost. Women in Boost spend two weeks learning crucial soft skills, basic computer skills, and employer expectations before they are placed for 6 weeks at one of our 5 partnering companies for a job shadow experience. If the employers are satisfied at the end of the 8 weeks, they have agreed to hire the women in permanent positions earning a living wage.
House of Hope has consistently maintained a wait list for years and steadily grows daily. Currently there are 125 families waiting to get into House of Hope. After much planning, House of Hope hired an Outreach Case Manager in September. The Outreach Case Manager works with families on the wait list to provide services and resources until they can get into House of Hope or become stable and self-sufficient. We have seen that providing women with fewer barriers with outreach services has a huge impact. Those women are coming off the wait list, saving the House of Hope apartments for the families most in need.
Change is difficult, and even success can be stressful. The women we serve often suffer from PTSD, Anxiety, and Depression, in addition to not having healthy coping skills due to living in crisis. In December we started our Family Support and Wellness program. The Family Support and Wellness Case Manager works with the moms and the kids individually and together on positive parenting strategies, stress management, healthy coping skills, and other skills vital to successful, independent living.
In 2019 we had two moms accepted into the Habitat for Humanity program, going literally from homeless to homeowner! Since January, we have graduated 2 families who are successfully living on their own. They continue to stay in touch and volunteer at House of Hope regularly. We also graduated two of our women from the Pillars program. One is in Job Corp and the other is living in her own apartment and earning $19.19 at her job. The House of Hope continues to empower women, build futures, and enrich the community. With the pandemic facing communities everywhere House of Hope will be more important than ever in the months to come.