"The stranger who dwells with you shall be as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself."
What Do Host Homes Provide?
Host Homes provide warm family-style residential care on a short term basis, enabling a parent and child to successfully come through a time of crisis. Host Homes are part of a network of ordinary families who open their homes to Hope House clients in need.
How, and Why, Become a Host Home?
"Bring the poor that are cast out to thy house" Isaiah 58:7. Interested households may contact Hope House and apply. Hope House provides initial training for hosts, ongoing guidance, support in teamwork with area resources, and oversight of placements. A caring stable home is a powerful tool God uses to rebuild broken lives. A Host Home family discovers the rewards of getting to see their love change lives. "The Lord your God, executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and loves the stranger by giving him food and clothing. So show your love for the stranger." Deuteronomy 10:17-19
Host Homes Meet Needs!
Poverty had discouraged a young single mom with a toddler son. A middle-aged single woman shared her home with them, teaching the young mom various life skills, modeling single womanhood, and becoming a surrogate grandma during the months they were together and beyond.
Abortion was what a young pregnant single was considering, but wanted a no-pressure setting in which to think over her options. A lively family of five provided her first look at a healthy family, as they opened their home to her. She chose life for her daughter, expressing gratefulness years later for how their home had shown her God's love.
Abused by her husband and abandoned in a culture foreign to her, a fearful mother and her baby girl were befriended by some single women who opened their home. As they helped them through immigration difficulties, the woman began to learn to trust again, and to heal from the abuse and fear she had known.
Incarceration of a woman's husband was preventing his help, and their second child's birth was approaching. With no family nearby, there was no one to care for her young son while she was in the hospital. At church she met the large family that would care for him for a week. The shy little boy blossomed from all the attention, and his mother knew God had heard her prayers.
Mild retardation was preventing a pregnant woman from being given a chance to birth and parent her child. Abortion was what some were encouraging. A couple who had finished raising their own children opened their home to help this woman. After considering adoption, her dream was still to parent her daughter. So they taught her newborn care and helped them get off to a good start.
Feeling alone in choosing adoption, a pregnant highschooler found support in the home of a caring family where the wife helped her with childbirth classes and labor, and the whole family helped her throughout the adoption process. Then they cheered her on when she left to pursue college goals.
TRUE NEIGHBORS SHOW UP!
"Who's the true neighbor?
The one who shows kindness!"
(Luke 10:36, 37, paraphrased)
Hope House has a history of being a catalyst for true neighbors...people who have a heart for helping others. Since 1994, our downtown outreach, the Family Support Center, has welcomed help...from up the street or around the globe...to connect with our amazingly-diverse neighborhood, which is poor in goods but very rich in spirit. We are a unique model of neighbor helping neighbor, and of a neighborhood running it's own resource center...with a little help from friends!
Join the Team!
Center volunteers gather (during active center seasons -- see schedule page) every Wednesday AM at 9:15, for a Volunteer Huddle. There the volunteers form teams that fill various posts for the morning's center activities. Our team approach allows for people to "try out" various spots, and to be trained "on the job", in one of the following ten teams:
Welcome Desk Team
Snack Shop Team
Thrift Store Team
Farmer's Market Team
Gift Bags/Prizes Team
Gather a Team!
Bring a team of 2-15 of your friends to help us in Lewiston. We'll even provide lodging for teams coming from a distance away. Why not see the sights in Maine, and do some good at the same time?!
Other Volunteer Opportunities Include:
Teaching a class to parents at the Lewiston center
Giving rides to/from Lewiston center, or on center field trips
Helping with special events (ie. Baby Olympics, neighborhood potlucks, LA Cafe nights, area field trips, seasonal celebrations)
Opening your house as a Host Home for a short season (see below)
Healthcare providers and ultrasound technicians for Health Clinic
call 577-1165 to arrange drop-off or receipt
The recession hit Lewiston hard, decreasing Hope House's donations and funding by over half. We need help in order to keep helping others! Could you share one of the following?...
Monthly support for Hope House, Inc.
One time gift for Hope House Inc. (no gift is too small!!)
Designated gifts for special funds (ie Heating Fund for Hope House buildings, Food Program Fund)
Help Families to Help Themselves
Out of the expressed need of the center's low-income neighborhood, the food program has steadily expanded. Food assistance has become one of our most requested services, and neighbors themselves now oversee regular food distribution to about 100 families. It is always shared free of charge.
On a normal day, the center serves 60-80 parents with canned/packaged food and baby food in our Free Family Thrift Store, as well as fresh fruits/vegetables and baked goods in our weekly Farmer's Market. Rather than being handed pre-selected food, each parent shops to select foods their families need and enjoy.
Mothers who are pregnant or newly-parenting make up the largest part of our clientele, so we know our program is assisting the most vulnerable residents of our community. Regular community meals in our LA Cafe, a free snack shop, and nutrition education in our Neighborhood Mom's Group are other popular facets of the center's food program.
Help Hope House Tackle Hunger
A Catholic Charities Human Development Grant, along with a matching grant from Good Shepherd Food Bank, enabled our 2014 food program to be very successful. The food bank's matching grant will be available again to us in 2015, and we need to raise $500 to ensure the matched amount of $1000, the bare minimum needed.
Here's how to help with our 2015 food program:
donate toward the $500 needed for a matching grant
share canned/packaged food from your family's pantry
pass along surplus vegetables from your home garden
cook a main dish for one of our community meals
donate vegetable plants for our Hope House garden.
Baby gift items
Mics and monitors
Stamps Just Don't Stretch
In Lewiston, almost half the children -- 41% -- live in poverty, and 36% of Lewiston residents use food stamps to get access to food. Food stamps, on average, provide food for only 17 days out of 30 each month.
Hope House helps families get food to survive those difficult 13 days each month. Our food distribution program, run out of our Family Support Center at 91 College St. in Lewiston, involves area families in being a part of their own solutions. Clients themselves operate the program.