|Volunteers from Jim Norton |
Toyota paint family rooms.
The Center of Hope is seeing more families like this one. According to caseworker Gale Baker, the number of families seeking help at the Center of Hope has tripled in the past seven years. On average, the Center of Hope will house about 20 families a night during the summer. Three years ago, only four to seven families would stay the night at the shelter. The Center of Hope has 11 rooms for these families, which means a room may have more than one family during those crowded nights.
“The face of the homeless isn’t what it was 20 years ago,” says Baker. “These aren’t all drug addicts or alcoholics. Some of these people lost a job or had unexpected medical problems that caused them financial trouble.”
|A pile of toys in the shelter's family|
lounge where little ones can play.
On Friday September 6, a group of United Way volunteers from Jim Norton Toyota were painting the walls of the family rooms at the Center of Hope as part of the Day of Caring.
“When children come to the shelter, by no fault of their own, we want a place that’s cheerful and not dull,” says Baker. “These volunteers are helping make that happen.”
Caseworkers at the Center of Hope are working hard to help families get back on their feet so they don’t have to stay at the shelter anymore. I’m thankful we provide a place for these families to go, but I’m hoping the numbers will start to decrease.