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HOPE SHELTER

Member Spotlight

 

#MembersMakeMCAH

HOPE Shelters

Founded as a warming center in 1998, the HOPE Shelters volunteers understood there was no place in the local shelter for those who struggled with substance abuse. Inebriated and rejected from the shelter, a man perished from hypothermia. This horrible event led to a local outcry of concerned citizens, which resulted in a task force  story led by Elizabeth Kelly, which ultimately became HOPE Shelters.  The tragic origin story, as well as knowing the individuals who seek shelter, provided HOPE with the impetus to provide a place of safety and warmth.  

However, the warming center was a band aid and not a solution. The same individuals came to HOPE’s warming center each winter. While substance use kept these individuals homeless, an emerging concept sparked new hope: Housing First.    This game changer did not require sobriety to qualify for housing. HOPE retained its low barrier model (no ID, sobriety requirements, no background checks to stay) and instead focused on assisting with acquisition of vital documents and partnering with housing agencies to help these individuals resolve homelessness once and for all.   HOPE now provides emergency and recuperative shelters for adults over age 18.

Passion Project

HOPE Shelters staff loves the advocacy and resources MCAH provides.  Support for questions that cannot be normally answered is a feature of MCAH that no one else does.  For example, Eric Hufnagel, MCAH’s executive director has gone the extra mile to provide answers late into the night.  Also, policy director Lisa Chapman keeps agencies informed and engaged with  legislation that directly impacts marginalized people.  “MCAH is a difference maker!”, Elizabeth exclaimed.  “MCAH’s advocacy has educated elected officials and elevated poverty and homeless issues.”

Like Being a MCAH Member

The HOPE Shelter’s staff loves the advocacy and resources MCAH provides.  Support for questions that cannot be normally answered is a feature of MCAH that no one else does.  For example, Eric Hufnagel, MCAH’s executive director has gone the extra mile to provide answers late into the night.  Also, policy director Lisa Chapman knows daily legislation which helps everyone.  There are moments that MCAH picks up a local cause and makes their own initiative.  “Difference maker!”, Elizabeth exclaimed.

Future Collaborations

In Elizabeth’s view, medical care, especially hospitals, should have more buy-in to the human service system.  Medical and human services can do a lot by working together.  “Hospitals collaborating with housing agencies would be amazing”, Elizabeth noted.  Also adding that “healthcare is housing and housing is healthcare.”

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