Helping people is hard. Over the past 23 years, we have learned many lessons. In our early years, 1998-2002, we were a “hand-out” of groceries and clothing at the Provision Center. We changed our location and our name to Parker County Center of Hope in 2003 and added hot meals and financial assistance.
We tried many programs to help people in our first decade: work programs, transitional housing, computer classes, and more. Some were successful and some taught us hard lessons about providing help to those in need. In 2009, we read the book When Helping Hurts. It provided an evidence-based format, with Biblical principles, to help alleviate poverty without hurting the poor. We realized that a lot of our “help” had not actually helped people. They were still coming back for help, month after month, even year after year. The book teaches the four underlying causes of on-going poverty: broken relationships with God, self, others and the rest of creation. The solution is providing the right kind of help for short-term and long-term situations.
We realized how important value and dignity are to those who need help. We started providing the opportunity to shop in the pantry for groceries, instead of giving pre-bagged food. We began building relationships with a focus on restoration. We realized effective assistance requires accountability. Even in our language, we began calling the people who came for help “participants” instead of clients. And we saw results!
Today, Center of Hope is still evolving in new ways as we strive to help people live a successful, joy-filled life. We would love for you to come for a tour to see for yourself all the classes and programs and various ways HOPE is offered here.
As a donor or volunteer, you are the foundation of helping people. God is the Hero and we get to be His hands and feet, loving others. Thank you for being part of restoring hope and changing lives!
Schedule a tour with Michelle: email@example.com