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  • Kelly Rhone

Hope Houses explained

OAKLAND, California - We all know how important homes are during this pandemic, especially when we have a family with us. Thus, I had been browsing deeper into housings for the homeless till I stumbled upon “hope houses”. It seems to be something similar to transitional housings, however, while transitional housings are funded by the government at times, hope homes depend on people’s donations, basically their good will.



Now another thing I’ve noticed is that there isn’t any exact definition for hope houses as of the moment so I’ll be introducing to you the hope house or organizations I’ve found instead!


1. House of Hope

  • About Them. The House of Hope does not take a one size fits all approach to people's problems. Refraining from the use of words like client or program, the members of the House of Hope try to work with individuals or families based on their own circumstances.

  • A Community of Caring. The House of Hope is not an agency but a network of concern whose members cooperate to reach out to others when there is serious need. The resources of the House of Hope are primarily directed to short-term emergency situations, where quick response and flexibility are critical. Founded in 1978, this network continues its outreach as a caring community through the commitment of its members, who give in so many ways by staffing the pantries, answering calls one day a month, occasionally shopping, or helping with a situation when their particular talents are needed.



  • What Does the House of Hope Do? Provides short-term emergency assistance to those in need who cannot receive this particular help anywhere else.

  • Who Can Receive Help? Anyone who has a legitimate need that cannot be met by any other existing agency or organization... the people who fall between the cracks.

  • What Types of Assistance are Offered? As varied as are the needs -- very often assisting people being served by agencies both government and private, when their program guidelines restrict action.

  • Contact: Phone: 301-334-2357, Email: info@houseofhopegc.org



2. Operation Hope

  • About Them. Our focus is financial dignity and inclusion. We equip young people and adults with the financial tools and education to secure a better future—coaching them through their personal aspirations and life’s challenges, and facilitating their journey to financial independence. Since 1992, we have been moving America from civil rights to “silver rights” with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved.



  • How They Work. We partner with financial institutions, corporations, municipal agencies, and community organizations to deliver HOPE Inside—our award-winning model of community uplift that has allowed us to scale, and sustainably package and deliver, financial dignity and economic empowerment programming in communities around the country, at no cost to the client. The client experience at HOPE Inside is rooted in empowerment. The personalized one-on-one coaching process integrates four key steps:

  • Reintroducing Individuals to Themselves

  • Offering Redemption

  • Providing Opportunities Through Purpose-Driven Projects

  • Giving Back Dignity

Clients are counseled on the language of money and work with Operation HOPE financial wellbeing coaches to transform established financial mindsets, and to develop customized action plans around building their own businesses, raising their credit scores, buying homes, or simply making better decisions with the money they have. Every HOPE Inside holds consumer credit counseling certification, CFPB, FDIC, U.S. SBA, EITC, HUD, and FEMA applications and partnerships. Through the HOPE 700 Credit Score Communities initiative, the focus on raising client credit scores to 700 is at the foundation of all HOPE Inside programming.

  • Mission. To expand economic opportunity, making free enterprise work for everyone.

  • Financial Dignity and Inclusion. Our focus is financial dignity and inclusion. We equip young people and adults with the financial tools and education to secure a better future—coaching them through their personal aspirations and life’s challenges, and facilitating their journey to financial independence. Since 1992, we have been moving America from civil rights to “silver rights” with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved.

  • Programs. HOPE Inside is our award-winning model of community uplift. We serve adults, youth, disaster survivors, and employees with financial dignity programming and coaching to equip them with the financial knowledge and tools to create a secure future. Our programs and services are offered at no cost to the client.


3. CityTeam

  • What They Do. CityTeam is founded on meeting local needs. Our programs across the United States offer help and hope to our neighbors in need with hot meals, groceries, shelter, housing and restorative programs, learning and career help, discovery Bible studies, and so much more. Each of our cities has customized programs to specifically meet the needs of their community.

  • Programs. From meeting immediate needs to providing lasting solutions, CityTeam programs restore lives and rebuild communities:

  • Homeless Resources

  • Economic Empowerment

  • Housing and Restorative Programs

  • Community Outreach

  • Mission. To share Christ’s unconditional and redemptive love by caring for immediate needs and enabling lasting solutions.

  • Vision. Restoring lives and rebuilding communities through innovative programs which provide food, shelter, clothing, training, and spiritual transformation.

  • Contact Details. General Inquiries: 1.888.248.9832, Email: info@cityteam.org

  • CityTeam Oakland Address: PO Box 24025, Oakland, CA 94623, 510.452.3758



Now that I’ve got those organizations covered, you’re now probably wondering if there really are people reaching out to those I’ve mentioned above. For that, it’s story time!

Down below is one of the many “Hope Stories”.

"I’m no longer defined by one mistake." - Edwin W.

Credit and money management HOPE Inside SunTrust Bank – Tampa, FL


For 20 years, Edwin Walker faced more hardships than most people could handle in a lifetime. Struggling to maintain a steady income and care for his elderly mother, Edwin found himself borrowing money from lender services, pushing him deeper into debt. With a credit score in the low 400’s, it was likely that Edwin would never qualify for a loan from his bank.

It wasn’t until Edwin met HOPE Financial Wellbeing Coach Milagros Agosto at HOPE Inside SunTrust — Tampa that knew he had been given a second chance at life.


Milagros taught Edwin how to read his credit report and worked with him and collectors to negotiate lower amounts to pay off his debt. After a few months, Edwin began to see his credit score increase but still needed assistance cycling out of using loan services.


Because of the HOPE Credit and Money Management Program, Edwin regained a sense of drive and purpose and began using his skill as a handyman to gain additional income to pay off his debt. He found the money to take care of his mother and has even invested into renovated her home.


At 55, Edwin now has a credit score of 713 and has saved over $3000 in the last year.”


Meanwhile, here’s one from City Team Stories with a video to boot in.



TATIANNA’S TESTIMONY

Tatianna is just one of the women who has rebuilt her life, thanks to you and CityTeam @ Work. She came to us following ten years of addiction and homelessness. She knew that, with her history, work might be hard to find. “I didn’t know how to do anything for myself,” she says. But our team of mentors and volunteers from the community walked alongside her the whole way. She worked hard and never gave up. Our career counselor helped Tatianna get in touch with prospective employers, apply for jobs, and interview with recruiters. One job with an organization that works with the homeless looked like a great opportunity. “I felt very capable and fit for the position,” she says. “I knew it was something I could do well.” She got the job. Tatianna says, “After ten years of homelessness, I’m so thankful for this job and a new life. CityTeam and my new employer both gave me a second chance at life, to be a contributing member of society, and to live life the right way.”


Despite the lack of an exact description for hope organizations, what I can say is that it is quite similar to charities as they aim to help those who are really in need. Moreover, the more I scrolled through the sites and the stories within, I can really say that they definitely aren’t called “House of Hope” for nothing!


Afterall, it is through their programs and people’s good and free will that these organizations can be formed to venture towards the goal of being a helping hand!




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