WILMINGTON — “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute” – Psalm 82:3.
Since Hope House opened in October 2014, it has been fulfilling its mission as a safe place for women and children in need of overnight shelter.
The COVID-19 pandemic, however, forced Hope House to close its doors in July of 2020. This made it impossible for Hope House to do what it does best: serve as a safe shelter for women and children.
Patricia Thomas, Administrative Assistant at Hope House, indicated that the faith-based facility has been closed six of the last 12 months.
In spite of the detrimental effect of COVID-19 in 2020, though, Hope House provided 66 individual women with a safe place to sleep. Over the past two years, Hope House, on average, served an average of two guests each night.
The majority of these clients were Clinton County residents experiencing homelessness on a short-term basis.
On April 17, 2020, the State of Ohio designated Hope House a quarantine space for any homeless individuals who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, making it the only facility so designated in Clinton County. Fortunately, so far, the county has not needed to use Hope House to quarantine anyone.
Because of grants from the United Way, Health First, and the Ferno Family Foundation, as well as the generosity of local individuals who shared of their time and finances, Hope House was able to make significant improvements to the property during the pandemic.
These improvements will allow guests to be better served and protected during their stay at the facility.
Hope House has plans to reopen its doors this March 15. This good news comes with a caveat — the number of nights the facility can remain open to serve women and children will depend solely on the number of hostesses available each night.
With a corps of 14 to 20 women willing to serve as overnight hostesses, Hope House can provide hospitality every night. When their volunteer hostess numbers dip below 14, they can only be open on selected night of the week. This leaves women and children in need of shelter in a more vulnerable situation.
Hope House is an entirely volunteer mission. Overnight hostesses, who serve in pairs, are all volunteers.
If you would like to help provide shelter for vulnerable women and children, follow Hope House’s Facebook page to get news about volunteer training sessions or call (937) 562-1377
A clothing giveaway will happen at Hope House on Saturday, February 20th, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hope House is located at 495 E. Locust St. in Wilmington.