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Originally published: 2013-05-09 09:57:11
Last modified: 2013-05-09 09:57:20

Hospitality House needs continued support

The fanfare of our building campaign is over and for those at Hospitality House located in Boone, the everyday work of re-establishing lives goes on every hour of every day of the year. Our 2008-2011 capital campaign for a new facility was a success, as the community came together and supported it robustly. Now, we have a two-year-old facility that is doing the job that it was intended to do. The campaign glitz is over, so people tend to forget us, the work we do and the funding needed to help people rebuild their lives.

Do you really know much about us other than to say we are a homeless shelter? I have some facts that may surprise you. Did you know that 74 percent of our emergency shelter residents and 89 percent of our transitional housing residents are now in independent housing situations? Did you know we have a zero substance abuse policy? Did you know that we offer lockers, shower facilities and meals to people who do not spend nights with us, but are without a roof over their head at night? Some eventually become residents. 

Did you know that it costs approximately $32 per night per resident? Did you know that only 20 percent of our budget comes from federal and state programs and grants? We are dependent on private donors like you to fund the other 80 percent. Did you know that the county commissioners, who have assisted with funding in the past, have budgeted us zero dollars in the past two years?

We do not just board and feed "homeless" people until they find their own way. We give them a hand up and not a hand out. Did you know that the first thing that a new resident does is meet with a counselor to plan a strategy and set goals to transition their life back to mainstream society? They continually meet with their counselor to see how they are progressing with their goals. Did you know the No. 1 cause of homelessness in the last year was job loss? In most cases, they are just people down on their luck facing temporary hard times wanting and trying to get back on their independent feet. People such as  Gina. Gina arrived at Hospitality House as a single mom working two jobs and still unable to find affordable housing and day care. By utilizing the services of the Hospitality House, Gina was able to save money, increase her work hours, locate affordable day care and form a network of support with other single moms. Gina and her son recently moved into stable housing, grateful for their time at Hospitality House but now enjoying their own place filled with their own dreams.

We are currently on a drive to ask people and businesses to make a monetary commitment to this worthwhile community treasure. For only $32 per month,  you can assure one person shelter, food and services for one night. What is more important than helping a fellow human being to regain his or her dignity and self-esteem? If you were to eat out once less per month and contribute that money to the Hospitality House you would be helping to transform lives. We also offer many ways to get involved, including service time and in-kind contributions. We will accept donations of any amount and if you would like to use us as part of your estate plan we would welcome the chance to discuss this with you also. We also accept your prayers and support. 

Bob Neill, treasurer, board of directors,
Hospitality House of the High Country