WAYCROSS KIWANIS CLUB

Daily Point of Light # 2181 Jun 13, 2002

Project Hope for the Homeless, sponsored by The Ecumenical Shelter Network of Lake County, is an effort on the part of churches in Lake County to serve men, women, and children who find themselves homeless. Temporary emergency shelter is provided from November through April from 8.00 p.m. until 8.00 a.m.

The mission statement of Project Hope reads: “To serve the human hurts and hopes of persons in Lake County who are homeless by providing emergency shelter, in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ.” The shelter is the only emergency overnight shelter for homeless persons in Lake County. Project Hope is more than a temporary emergency shelter, however.

Through its eight-year history it has evolved into providing several important services to the shelter guests, including individualized goal-setting programs. Mental health groups offer counseling to guests who are dealing with mental health issues. Other services such as substance abuse prevention, survival skills workshops, Bible study, assistance with job interviews and transportation to work are offered. Shelter guests are helped to find housing once they are “back on their feet.”

The backbone of Project Hope is its volunteers. From spending overnights at the shelter to providing food and other services, the shelter could not exist without its volunteers. Several of our former guests return as volunteers because they realize the support they received at the shelter from the volunteers turned their lives around for the better.

The shelter is an effort on the part of the entire community working together to make a difference in the lives of others. Groups of all ages, races, and economic backgrounds have devoted time, effort, and money to provide the necessary funding to keep the shelter open. Local businesses offer food vouchers, public transportation and laundry services. The shelter brings together all members of the community in an effort to help those men, women, and children less fortunate than themselves.

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