Stories of Hope

House of Hope touches the lives of thousands of Martin County residents every month. On this page, we will share some of their stories to promote understanding and encourage others to become engaged with House of Hope, whether you are seeking assistance or wanting to offer help.

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From Client to Volunteer

“Wanda” and her family came to House of Hope in December 2020 seeking assistance with food and financial help for their rent and utilities.

In October 2021, Wanda began looking for new employment but unfortunately found herself admitted to the hospital. When discharged from the hospital, she immediately called the potential employer and left several voicemails. She was finally contacted and asked to come in for an interview. At her interview, she was asked how much she felt she should be paid and she stated that due to her lack of experience, she was willing to accept any suitable wage they offered. Wanda was offered the job and she accepted.

In January 2022, Wanda recently shared with staff that since starting her new job, she has received many compliments for her work and three substantial raises.  She expressed that with the assistance from HOH with monthly groceries, financial assistance with rent and utilities, holiday meals, Christmas gifts for her children and a potential scholarship for her daughter, she and her family have been able to overcome hardships.  She is looking to give back by volunteering her time at a House of Hope location.

Getting Back on His Feet

Frank is a 68-year-old man who is retired and living on a low fixed income. When he first came to House of Hope, he was in need of food and hygiene products. He was so grateful to receive help, he became emotional and tearful. We also referred him to the Christian Community Center and gave him information on applying for SNAP benefits. (new graph) Frank returned to House of Hope after having knee surgery to share that things were better for him since his last visit to us. He was able to get SNAP benefits using his phone. We noticed he had trouble walking, so we gave him a cane and clothing. He was again very grateful that House of Hope was there to help in his time of need.

The Difference a Car Can Make

Mary, a single mother of two, moved from the West Palm area to Martin County to find better opportunities for herself and her children. She reached out to House of Hope originally to request assistance with rent, but found out through the phone call from the case manager that there were many more resources available to her than just assistance with rent. Mary stated she was looking for a better paying job, but was limited due to not having a vehicle. She also stated that she was unable to place children in afterschool programs because she did not have a vehicle.

Mary was able to receive food assistance as well as a vehicle through House of Hope to better her opportunities with a better paying job. The day Mary picked up her vehicle, she walked from her home to House of Hope, and left in her vehicle crying and thanking House of Hope for the wonderful gift. Mary stated that before she even left with her vehicle, she had a job interview that day and was also going to set up after-school programs for her children to attend.

Building Hope

Vera is a senior client who came into House of Hope in dire straits. One of her essential bills had been raised to a point where she had absolutely no funds left after paying it. She had no food in her cabinets and had run out of basic personal items such as shampoo and toilet paper. She also spoke about not having clothes to wear. By the end of her first visit, House of Hope was able to provide everything she needed. She had thankful tears in her eyes because she was no longer in the position she was in when she walked in the door. She had hope.

Since then, Vera has been beyond thankful to continue to receive services at House of Hope. Every time she visits the pantry, she says House of Hope always seems to provide exactly what she is in need of at the time. She calls it a miracle and always leaves with a smile on her face. Her story is one of many similar stories that shows the powerful impact that House of Hope has on so many lives.

From Empowerment to Employment

Michelle came into House of Hope as a single mother of two in desperate need of services. Michelle received food and enrolled in the Client Choice Pantry. During Michelle’s visits to the House of Hope Pantry for her shopping service, she had expressed that she was in the market for stable employment to support her family. After a number of different jobs, many interviews, and being passed over for jobs she had applied for, Michelle submitted an application with the St. Lucie School Board's Transportation Department. Michelle was offered the Substitute Bus Aide position with a starting pay rate of $10 an hour. Although grateful for the job, she knew that she would not be able to sustain her family on $10 an hour. Michelle spoke to the hiring manager about her pay rate concerns. The manager offered her a Bus Aide Attendant position paying $15 an hour. Michelle credits House of Hope for giving her support and encouragement, and said “I was able to feed my family with the food received from House of Hope.” Michelle has been a recipient of our Christmas, Easter, and most recently, Back-to-School program. This program will continue to support her as she starts her new employment and ease some of her financial burdens at this time.

Financial Assistance 

Denise came to House of Hope desperately seeking assistance from our pantry services. She had lost her job because of an injury sustained outside of work. Denise started with help from our pantry services and was then referred to some of our other programs. She qualified to receive financial assistance to help with rent. Denise's case manager also told her about House of Hope's Career Coordinator program, where she was able to get help with her resume and interviewing skills in order to have better chances at new employment. Denise was impressed with the services and support she received from House of Hope. She was able to get a new job with a lawyer’s office, and she hopes to not need House of Hope's services now that she is back on her feet.

Bike to Work

Bike repair was done for a client, thanks to funding from a local foundation. Once he had transportation, he found better employment and greatly improved his circumstances! 

Finally Housed Safely

A client called to thank House of Hope for our help. She transitioned from homelessness in 2019, to living in an apartment in 2020, to working and doing well enough in 2021 that she no longer needs our services. Since she is still eligible for our services based on her circumstanes, we let her know House of Hope is available to help her maintain her success if needed!

Healthy and Thriving 

Faith, 76, lives on a very strict low income and has been receiving services from House of Hope for 10 years. With the help of House of Hope's services, Faith lost 150 pounds by eating healthy and walking, and is able to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle with the fresh produce, dairy and lean meats House of Hope has provided over the years. Faith is a domestic abuse survivor who has, as she says, “turned tragedy to triumph," deciding to renew herself from head-to-toe, inside and out. One of Faith's favorite things about the House of Hope pantry services is that she is offered healthy choices. She believes that being healthy and physically able to enjoy her senior years has kept her living independetly at home and not needing lots of medical care. She has even won an award for best-kept yard in her mobile home park!

Utilizing Our Many Services

Lucy” is a divorced middle-aged woman residing in Martin County who was working part-time as a bartender when she was laid off from work in March 2020 as a result of the pandemic. Lucy was without income and applying for unemployment benefits when she heard about House of Hope on the local news in April 2020, and decided to seek assistance with her rent payments. With the goal of returning to work and eventually managing her household as she had before, Lucy worked with a Project HOPE (Helping Others Progress through Empowerment) case manager to develop a monthly budget and outline financial support available to help her. The Project HOPE team assisted Lucy with one month of rent to avoid eviction, her car insurance payment to avoid cancellation and potential suspension of her license, and food pantry services to meet her family’s nutritional needs and lessen the monthly cost of food. House of Hope’s farm-to-table produce from Growing Hope Farm, and nutritious prepared foods from the Elisabeth Lahti Nutrition Center, helped Lucy manage certain health issues in her household.

Lucy was concerned that she wasn't going to get a new job because she did not know how to use computers well. She was referred to career coaching and a computer class at House of Hope’s Golden Gate Enrichment Center to help foster her confidence and skills with computers. Lucy was anxious to go back to work in a COVID-safe environment, and knew she could connect with her case manager anytime she had questions or needed referrals. Her progress was tracked monthly until she no longer needed support from House of Hope.