Houston, Texas, star of hope

  1. Introduction

Poverty reduction is a global concern that has existed for more than 20 years. Financial world bodies have established strategies to eradicate poverty by half by 2015 for all the world population living in poverty. This target may be null and void because of the ambiguity connoted by the word ‘poverty’ and the poverty monetary indicators in different parts of the world (Robinson, 2010). It is bewildering to realize that poverty is a relative term with a myriad of definitions for any nation. It could attribute to different concepts such as a sustainable livelihood or social inclusion, income poverty or development, future security or current consumption among others.

Different interventions can be used to address different ideas. Concepts on poverty alleviation have developed over the past few years. One of such intervention that has been developed is the use of nonprofit organizations (Robinson, 2010). It is this through these organizations that individuals can acquire the basic of services and needs such as food, clothing and shelter. Though the nonprofit organization does not elevate the individuals from poverty they try to their level best assist these individuals leave a humanly decent life by putting a roof over their heads, giving them shelter, medication and in some cases vocational training or employment.

  1. Problem Statement

With the increased concern in charitable organization undertaking different an activity, there has is a growing need to analysis the background, activities and challenges that any charitable organization is undertaking. Therefore, the paper will seek to shed some light on one of the most renowned charitable organization in Houston Texas, star of hope

  1. Question statements

The paper will concern itself in answering the following questions

  • Who are the Houston Texas stars of hope?
  • What does the Houston Texas star of hope do?
  • What are the challenges faced by the organization?

  1. Literature Review
    • History

The majority of us were not alive at the beginning of the 20th Century, but it said to be a time of significant early development. During this time Reverend Dennis R. Pevoto, a Baptist minister, having traveled to New York from the Savannah, Georgia. The Baptist minister had a vision that would later change the course of his life and also the lives of thousands of people from that time to the very day (Sohmission.org, 2015). He had an experienced of a Divine vision. In his vision, he was called to go to Houston, Texas and establish a home of refuge for Houston’s lost community of men. The community was to assist men who had fallen prey to hard times and not recovered. The community mainly comprised of men who were alcoholic, helpless and hopeless with no shelter or home. He named his mission Star of Hope Mission.

By the turn of 1906, Reverend Pevoto had made his way to Houston and was already making headway in vision. Together with Baptist clergy and Evangelist Mordecai Ham, they established the first shelter for dedicated for homeless men in the city. It was with this action that the Star of Hope Mission began its life-changing activities in the mid-1907. The shelter, a two-story building, located at 714 Franklin Street was the home of the shelter. The first director, a former alcoholic named Richard Dowling was appointed. Later the Mission was relocated to Congress Street and again to LaBranch Street. Since then this has it’s been its location since 1955 to the very date (Sohmission.org, 2015).

It was during the time at the LaBranch location that homelessness took a significant turn. It situation was no longer a reflection of the strange poverty of men in urban areas. The mission began to have a softer, rounder look and involved the innocent and desperate people in the society, women and children. The section of the population has become the fastest growing portion of the population among in the homeless. Notably, the average, national age of the homeless individual is nine years old. During the latter part of the century saw the growth numbers of scared women and children join the homeless scene. In response to the situation, the mission opened a Women and Family Emergency Shelter in the year 1986 located on the North Main Street (Sohmission.org, 2015). The goal of the shelter was to share the love of Christ by nurturing, safe surroundings that reassured and encouraged the very susceptible among the homeless. Two years on, the mission open a Transitional Living Center located on Calhoun Street. The center offers a year-long residential program. The program was focused to assist the homeless women and families, re-enter mainstream society by fully equipping them to become self-sufficient.

To this very day, the Mission, star of hope is on its stage of achieving the great beginnings. The Women and Family Emergency Shelter has now expanded to host its second home. The home underwent a million dollar renovation in order to maximize the safety, care and comfort for its residents. In the year 2004, the Mission opened the June Waggoner House of Hope Day Care Center. The day care center was opened on that site providing top of the range childcare. The center also provides after school programs for nearly 150 homeless youngsters and individuals in their teenage years. The Transitional Living Center has also built its second home in a custom-built building. The mission also prides itself with 111 single and family apartments. The single and family apartments include a service and program centers. The center targets a blend of services ranging from healthcare, education, employment, childcare, substance abuse recovery and life-skills. The home of the Doris and Carlos Morris Men’s Development Center, Located at 1811 Ruiz Street, was completed for occupancy in mid-2000. The center was earlier an emergency men’s Emergency Shelter. In this enormous, state-of-the-art facility, the mission is at work rejuvenating the hearts and minds of broken individuals

  • Mission

“Star of Hope is a Christ-centered community dedicated to meeting the needs of homeless men, women, and their children. Positive life changes are encouraged through structured programs that focus on spiritual growth, education, employment, life management and recovery from substance abuse” (Sohmission.org, 2015).

  • Description of Services

The homeless individuals who come to the doors of Star of Hope are from a variety of situations. The majority comes from either physically or emotionally abusive Relationships. Many are addicted to drugs or alcohol. To make matters worse, they have nowhere to go and no one to turn to in their time of greatest need. At the Men’s Development Center in downtown located in Houston, a sign at the entrance states, “If you do not have any friend in the whole world, you will find one here.” Founded in 1907 as a Christian, non-profit mission, the focus of Star of Hope from the beginning has been to reach out with the love of Jesus Christ to those who have nowhere else to turn. Star of Hope precedes all other agencies in Houston and is still the largest organization of its kind (Williams, McGillivray & Romano, 2010).

Star of Hope moved into the Doris & Carlos Morris Men’s Development Center in June 2000 from our previous location on LaBranch. The Men’s Development Center provides a refuge for transient men; a 6-month spiritual recovery program for men committed to their recovery and making a life change; a transitional living program for up to six months after successful completion of the spiritual recovery program; and an active alumni program. The Men’s Development Center offers:

  • Housing for approximately 450 men a night and many more in inclement weather.
  • Recovery programs that develop personal disciplines and Christian character.
  • A computer learning center that assists with high school equivalency, education and job skills.
  • A Career Development and Education Center that assists with adult basic education, ESL classes, literacy and resources for job searching.
  • A walk-in center that offers daytime refuge and respite from the weather and the pressures of the street.
  • Access to medical care.
  • An on-site sobering-up station for intoxicated men.

In the mid-1980’s the faces of the homeless began to change and could no longer be stereotyped as a male, alcoholic problem (Williams, McGillivray & Romano, 2010). Today, women and children comprise the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population. Star of Hope responded to the needs of these homeless women and children by opening a Women & Family Emergency Shelter in January 1986. The shelter serves approximately 300 homeless mothers and fathers with their children every night. With an ever-growing number of homeless families, in 2004, the shelter opened the June Waggoner Children’s House of Hope to meet the particular needs of homeless children. The Women & Family Emergency Shelter is committed to providing a safe and stable environment where positive changes can occur through a variety of programs and support services. A three-month program that helps families identify resources needed for full recovery.

  • Access to medical care.
  • Loving child care, after-school tutoring and an on-site playground.
  • A computer learning center with programs for adults and children.
  • A lending library.

It was realized during the 1980’s that emergency shelter was not enough help for many homeless persons. The individuals kept returning to the shelter after leaving, as they were unable to sustain an independent lifestyle. Star of Hope met this need by opening a Transitional Living Center. The Transitional Living Center program provides long-term solutions for structure, opportunity, and accountability, to learn basic living skills in a comprehensive and demanding one-year program (McKee, 2010). Applicants to this intensive 12 month program complete a written application and participate in a thorough intake process designed to select participants who are genuinely committed to their recovery. Resources available at the Transitional Living Center include:

  • Counseling in the areas of education, social services, employment, substance abuse recovery and life management skills.
  • 66 family apartments, including one, two and three-bedroom units.
  • An adult program which houses 45 single women.
  • Loving child care, after-school tutoring and an on-site playground.
  • Access to medical care.
  • The computer learning center with programs for children and adults, ranging from homework assistance to high school equivalent to job skill training.
  • Intensive 90-day substance abuse recovery program
  • a year-long follow-up program
  • specialized programs for girls who are aging out of the foster system and homeless first-time moms

New Horizons began in June 2008. It provides safe, permanent housing for qualified singles and families by subsidizing rent and childcare over three years, providing financial management classes and recovery support. New Haven is our newest program and a first in our city. It provides permanent housing and supportive services for formerly homeless men and women who are mentally ill. The goal of Star of Hope is to assist homeless men, women, and their children to achieve happy, productive, independent living through healing, change and positive growth in all areas of their lives. Each of Star of Hope’s facilities addresses the problems unique to a particular segment of the homeless population.

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