In the midst of multiple, overlapping crises that often result in the loss of housing for at-risk individuals, we are grateful to be able to report on organizations like the House of Hope, which shed …
In the midst of multiple, overlapping crises that often result in the loss of housing for at-risk individuals, we are grateful to be able to report on organizations like the House of Hope, which shed a much needed ray of light upon a subject that all too frequently results in only despair and frustration.
For far too long, those experiencing homelessness and addiction were ridiculed and vilified as harbingers of their own demise — too shortsighted, too lazy, or too weak and careless to pull themselves out of the depths of darkness and back into a productive place within society.
That battle of poisonous perception is by no means won, but we have made leaps and bounds in humanizing the struggles that people go through every day; and recognizing that any one of us could be touched by their tragedy given an unfortunate change in circumstance, or a sudden stroke of bad luck.
Advocates, like those who work at the House of Hope, go many more steps forward than simply not denigrating our most vulnerable and in-need populations. A feature running in this week’s edition highlights one of their programs, a peer-to-peer mentoring program that takes those who had formerly been homeless or suffering from addiction, and lifts them up further; giving them roles of responsibility as torch-wielding shepherds of their former peers through the dark times towards a better, and more hopeful, tomorrow.
For anyone who has ever had a loved one in their life go through this struggle, whether with alcohol, drugs, gambling, or just the kind of fatigue that is brought on by financial challenges day-to-day, week-to-week, you know first-hand how important it is to offer them a glimpse of something to believe in, and hope for — a reason to keep going, and keep trying.
This extension of hope goes both ways. By entrusting and empowering those who have made it to the other side to become mentors and leaders, you provide them with a sense of purpose and importance to continue making good decisions and strengthening their own mind and spirits, so they can be strong for people who sit in the same spot they themselves may have been in just a short while ago.
A second chance is something special to witness, and it is something each of us would hope for if we ever found ourselves face-down after taking a symbolic stomach punch; the kind which life finds many creative ways to dole out.
To have an organization doing such important, angelic work in our own community is a true blessing, and we hope they can earn more widespread notoriety and support for how they are tackling these most difficult problems in our society; not by pretending they aren’t our problem, but by meeting the problem where it lives, and offering kindness in places where such gestures could mean the difference between life, and death.