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Project Hope for the Homeless announces Welcome Home Center opening

Project Hope for the Homeless is pleased to announce its new Welcome Home Center is open to serve eligible guests.

Project Hope for the Homeless is the only emergency shelter in Lake County and is in its 31st year of operation. The 50-bed facility has provided emergency and transitional shelter, care and guidance to more than 9,000 people since its inception.

In 2023, the organization served 323 guests including 43 children with 85% transitioning to safe shelter or entering into in-person behavioral health treatment within an average of 36 days.

The organization’s Welcome Home program helps eligible guests start over with their lives. Many do not own common household necessities to start again. Part of what can make a positive transition harder for some guests is there is not much discretionary income available to them.

The Welcome Home Center building officially opened on Feb. 22 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by Project Hope for the Homeless and the Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce that was attended by the community, donors, local dignitaries, and elected officials.

This new 700-square-foot warehouse will allow Project Hope for the Homeless to partner with foundations to secure free furnishings that will be available for eligible transitioning guests, who can shop for free for basic items of their preference.

The Welcome Home Center also allows Project Hope for the Homeless to receive and store more donations from the community and purchase other necessities in bulk to alleviate these worries by our transitioning guests.

It is empowering for transitioning guests to have a choice and select items that reflect their style and personality. Those little things can make a difference in providing dignity, creating confidence, and a sense of home.

This little bit of help to our guests can make a major difference in a person’s life and success, said Project Hope for the Homeless Executive Director Judy Burr.

“Imagine moving into a new apartment but living with a dirty floor because you cannot afford a vacuum, broom, or mop,” Burr said. “If we can supply the basics, an air mattress or bed, it helps our guests get a better start and the ability to sustain their housing”.

Funding for the Welcome Home Center came from a capital campaign that raised more than $108,000 for the project and thousands of dollars of free labor donated from local contractors.

Project Hope for the Homeless asks that any donations for the Welcome Home Center be new items only. A list of items that are currently accepted is available at: