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Project Hope for the Homeless serves record number of guests in 2019

In 2019, Project Hope for the Homeless served an all-time high number of 476 guests at the shelter located at 25 Freedom Road. The record number served includes 71 children. In 2018, 471 guests were served including 65 children.

Project Hope for the Homeless also is proud to announce that, even with more guests served than ever before, the shelter had its highest percentage of guests (88%) positively transitioning to a better living situation in 2019.

“We are especially proud that we have the highest positive outcomes in our history while serving guests with the most serious issues and barriers,” said Judy Burr, Project Hope for the Homeless executive director. “We could not do this without the community partnerships and support”.

Project Hope for the Homeless, which is the only emergency shelter in Lake County, is a 50-bed, year-round facility. Since 1993, we have worked with more than 8,000 individuals to provide proactive solutions to help them improve their housing situation, quality of life, and become more self-sufficient.

Reservations to stay at Project Hope for the Homeless are required and handled by calling 211 in Lake County. Guests are provided a safe place to sleep, basic needs, and one-on-one care and guidance to individuals and families from Northeast Ohio through four separate programs.

Adult Shelter: The adult shelter is open daily from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. to serve up to 38 men and women guests. In 2019, we provided 359 adults with emergency shelter, a hot dinner, light breakfast, packed lunch, showers, linens, basic necessities, clothing and laundry vouchers, educational and recovery workshops from 30 partners, optional spiritual support, and weekly one-on-one meetings with a trained, professional staff member. The staff member helps guests set and achieve goals or provides them with referrals for treatment that is more comprehensive to help them achieve their most abundant life.

Families Moving Forward: Families Moving Forward operates in a separate of our 25 Freedom Road facility from 1 p.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays and 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekends. This program serves up to 12 guests per night and provides the same services as the adult shelter. It additionally provides families and children with greater consistency and routine in a child-friendly, family-focused program to help build resiliency one family at a time. In 2019, we served 117 individuals including 71 children and 46 adults. As they move to housing, each child is given a ‘crate for kids’ hamper filled with themed bedding and items for their new bedroom (from partner agency, Christ Child Society).

Aftercare: In 2007, Project Hope for the Homeless launched the aftercare program to meet the needs of former guests. Through monthly support meetings with educational and entertaining topics, care packages, regular service referrals, frequent communication, social events and linkage to housing subsidies, the program has reduced recidivism from 20% to less than 10% and has helped former guests become shelter employees, volunteers, board members and supporters, and community leaders. In 2019, there were 137 participants in aftercare.

Senior Care – Hope House: In 2019, Project Hope for the Homeless began a 3-unit transitional housing program for seniors ages 62 and older who find themselves homeless. As an extension of our aftercare services, these persons receive subsidized or free rent for up to 90 days. This provides them with 24/7 shelter and the same type of case management offered sheltered guests. They also receive Meals on Wheels daily (provided by partner agency, Lake County Council on Aging) as well as transport to/from physician appointments and/or the grocery store. Assistance is provided as needed for laundry, chores or smaller tasks as needed.

The mission of Project Hope for the Homeless is to respond to the human hurts and hopes of people in Lake County who are homeless by providing emergency shelter, care, and guidance in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ.

We believe our mission and organization empowers people to become more self-sufficient because our staff and volunteers work every day with our guests to equip them with the tools and skills they need to achieve this goal upon leaving our program.

Professional Residential Specialists assess and help meet the needs of the individuals residing at the shelter so that they can transition to the next best alternative whether that is another program, treatment, safe placement with healthy friends or affordable housing of his/her own. Our Residential Specialists provide referrals, crisis intervention, goal planning, accountability and support to the guests, supervise the shelter staff, and provide oversight to the volunteers and guests for the shift.