Homeless reclaim their lives in Medford
Transitional living center filled with HOPE.
by BILL YAEGER –
Helping Other People Excel (HOPE) is not only the motto of the Medford Corps’ transitional living center, it is its name. HOPE House provides the homeless and underprivileged the means and opportunity to reclaim their lives.
The program is successful because it focuses on what an individual can do, with God’s help, from the inside out and offers a safe, clean environment for people to become healthy physically, mentally and spiritually. The HOPE House program is open to single men, women, married couples and families.
This is the experience of one family helped by HOPE House: “In October 2002,” says the father, “I went to jail on various charges including drug possession. While I was in jail, my wife and two young sons became homeless. Two months later, they checked into The Salvation Army HOPE House. At that time, we had nothing left except each other and $30,000 debt in collections. Drugs and alcohol had destroyed our lives and we decided our lives had to change! When I was released from jail in March 2003, my wife was working fulltime and the boys were in a nearby school and were doing quite well.
“I came to HOPE House and talked to the case manager. Together we came up with an action plan, knowing that I had one more court case hanging over my head. In May 2003, with the help of the case manager, I began contacting creditors. At the end of the day, we had eliminated or set up payment plans on more than 40 percent of the debt.
“In court, I had enough support from the church and HOPE House that the court reduced my sentence by eight months. I enrolled in Forest Camp, which allowed me to be home with my family on weekends. I was released four months early and received a letter of commendation from the program supervisor.
“We came to HOPE House broken, with 21 years of drug addiction and criminal history. We left in August 2004, debt-free, with a car and a fresh chance at life.”