12 Dec Winter Appeal 2022 – Save a life this winter…
In Rhode Island, the winter months mean an increased need for resources for people experiencing homelessness, especially for those sleeping unsheltered each night.
That is why we are asking for your help…
Last year we shared with you our newly declared mission statement:
At House of Hope we affirm safe stable housing as a basic human right. We address the trauma of homelessness by empowering constituents, delivering high impact innovative services, diversifying housing options, and advocating for policies to counter structural inequalities.
We wanted to take this opportunity to update you on how our mission provided the foundation for all of the important work we’ve accomplished over these last 12 months; work made possible with your support.
Empowering Constituents – Those experiencing homelessness very often feel hopeless and powerless. House of Hope works hard to return their hope by empowering them to share their lived experiences. One of our long-time volunteers, and former employees, has done this by bringing six past and present constituents to be guest lecturers for the Rhode Island College School of Social Work and Alpert Medical School of Brown University. This has given constituents the opportunity to share their experiences with others; which in turn gives them a feeling of empowerment and restores their hope.
High Impact Innovative Services – Shower to Empower – one of House of Hope’s most innovative programs, will surpass 6,000 showers before the end of the year – a surge of 1,000 showers provided in the last 6 months alone – to more than 1,100 unique individuals. Robert, a former client of House of Hope shared his thoughts:
“It’s not just about showers, but having someone to talk to and seeing people you know. I was homeless for four long years, but through Shower to Empower, I finally found housing; a safe and warm place to call home.”
We have expanded the reach of this innovative program by partnering with Thundermist Health Center bringing Shower to Empower to their location in Woonsocket and West Warwick. This is an important collaboration because many of those experiencing homelessness also have significant barriers to health care and behavioral health care. By bringing Shower to Empower on site to Thundermist, this creates a one-stop shop experience that improves constituents access to care.
Diversifying Housing Options – Working in collaboration with the Women’s Development Corporation, House of Hope assumed the supportive services function at Dean Street Studios. These 51 studio apartment units are designated as permanent supportive housing for the formerly homeless. Since our arrival, the environment has improved significantly – clients feel safer and work closely with the staff to improve their lives; clients actually want to live there. In our first year on site, the eviction rates have dropped drastically.
House of Hope is ensuring that we do not just move someone from homelessness to housing, but continue working to keep them housed. This is evident in the 99% housing stabilization rate that House of Hope achieved last year.
Advocating for Policies to Counter Structural Inequalities – As numbers of those sleeping unsheltered each night in Rhode Island grows to more than 500 individuals, we continue our advocacy and education to public officials and the community to protect those living on the streets. Due to a lack of shelter space and affordable housing, the number of encampments around that state has continued to increase. Our Street Outreach Team has expanded their areas of outreach in order to provide services and make connections with those constituents living in these encampments. The team has also worked tirelessly to continue providing education to law enforcement and public officials, in order to ensure encampments are not destroyed; something the team has seen way too much of this past year.
House of Hope continues to advocate for using rapidly deployable units as temporary, emergency shelter as part of our vision for ECHO Village. The team is witnessing an uptick in deaths of those unsheltered constituents – deaths that could be avoided with a safe, dignified and quickly assembled solution to street homelessness. We will continue to advocate for this until the streets are no longer a waiting room for housing.
As supporters of House of Hope, YOU have made this work possible. We hope we can rely on you again. Homelessness in Rhode Island continues to be a prevalent crisis and your commitment to our mission shows that you value the work being done and are behind us in this fight.
Your gift today is not only allowing us to achieve our mission, but it is empowering those we serve now. Thank you for continuing to be the true power behind all that we do.
To make your donation now, visit www.thehouseofhopecdc.org/donate
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