At the Hope Center, our goal is to help unsheltered individuals secure housing, employment and a sense of self-worth. However, most of all we want to help them rediscover a sense of community and family which is accomplished through interpersonal relationship building. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning we go down by the Cape Fear River and have breakfast with our friends and family. We have been doing this since July 8th, 2015. Relationships are started, trust is built and a seed of stability is planted while we share breakfast. During the time we have been having breakfast on the river, we have come to the realization that language effects the way we minister and live life with the unsheltered; for example, We do not feed individuals, We share a meal. We also realized the importance if ministering with instead of ministering to.
In the Fall of 2015 we secured a location in the basement of Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church to give us a physical location where we could focus on helping these individuals take the next step in their journey to independence. This space currently has lockers where they can store their belongs, internet access, couches where they can relax and various other resources. We are currently setting up a mail center to allow them to send and receive mail at our location and utilize our address as their permanent address for applications including employment applications. This is only the beginning of the services we envision providing to this population and are constantly re-evaluating to see what other needs we might be able to meet; for example adding a shower, washer, and dryer. We call this space The Hope Center, for we believe that beyond any resource we can give them….hope trumps them all. Desmond Tutu once said, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”