H.E.A.R.T. – Women and Children
On average, single men comprise 41% of the homeless populations, families with children 40%, single women 14% and unaccompanied minors 5%
Requests for shelter by homeless families alone increased by 13%
56% of the people requesting emergency food assistance were members of families - children and their parents
(Source: U.S. Conference of Mayors report, December 2004)
The fastest growing segment of homeless is single parents with dependent children. Eighty percent of these parents are women.
It’s a little-known fact, but it’s true: most shelters can only house a family in crisis for 2-3 weeks or up to 30 days. On day 31, they’re on their own, and still in crisis.
In fall 2004, Hope Ministries opened Hope Family Center—located at 3333 E. University Avenue in Des Moines—a Christ-centered long-term residential and life recovery program designed to restore hope to homeless mothers and their children. At full capacity, we will be able to provide help for up to 48 women and their children (12-15 families).
Hope Ministries is grateful to the Greater Des Moines Remodeler’s Council for donating $150,000 of time, talent along with donated supplies from over 60 companies to renovate the basement of one of our houses into classrooms, children’s activity areas, meeting and classrooms, reception area and office space.
Our director of family ministries oversees all aspects of the program and staff, which include a case manager, a children’s ministry coordinator, several shift supervisors providing round-the-clock staffing of the Center and numerous volunteers.
• OUR GOAL
• ESSENTIALS TO REAL LIFE CHANGE
• KEY ELEMENTS OF HOPE FAMILY CENTER
• RESIDENT TESTIMONIES AND STORIES
• A FUTURE WITH PURPOSE
• THE FACILITY
• LIFE-CHANGING PRINCIPLES
• THE H.E.A.R.T. RECOVERY PROGRAM
• DAILY STRUCTURE
• BIBLE STUDY, DEVOTIONS, WORSHIP DISCIPLINES
• FAMILY CENTER VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
• HOPE FAMILY CENTER PHOTO ALBUM
The goal of the Hope Family Center is to love, encourage and motivate mothers and children to consider making significant life-change.
Essentials to real life change include:
Having a growing personal relationship with Jesus Christ
Understanding God’s Word, the Bible
Being in healthy relationships with others including accountability
Practicing introspective self-evaluation
Being equipped with life-skills
Key elements of Hope Family Center include:
A stable environment for children to thrive and parents to grow and heal.
A well-designed, faith-based, Christ-centered program that encourages responsibility and accountability, while providing the tools and life-skills necessary for real, measurable progress toward independence.
Individual living facilities for each family to promote family life and dignity with sufficient measures in place to ensure safety and security.
Resident’s Testimonies and Stories
A Future with Purpose
Hope Family Center guides homeless mothers and their children on a journey of hope called the H.E.A.R.T. Recovery Program. While in the H.E.A.R.T. Recovery Program, families replace addiction, anger and confusion with Christ-centered tools that build maturity, and strength through these phases; healing, equipping, accountability, responsibility and transition.
Within the Center’s safe, clean environment, each family receives 24 hour care, and individualized case management. During their 18-24 months on the program, moms overcome life-dominating habits; learn essentials such as growing in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and understanding God’s Word, the Bible; develop and manage healthy relationships; acquire self-evaluation and life-skills; and, set goals for a more stable future and a future of HOPE.
• offers three ranch-style houses totaling. Each house has eight bedrooms for families and shared living space
• front and back living room areas are available for family time and TV/movie viewing
• moms prepare meals for their families in the kitchen with staple grocery items provided for them by Hope Ministries, the majority of which are donated to the ministry by individuals, churches, and corporations
• food pantry in all three houses
• periodically church and other groups and individuals deliver prepared meals to offer moms a break through our Meals for Hope program
• families eat together in the dining room as their schedule permits
• community toys are available to the children in the toy room in each house
• families launder their clothes for free on-site in the laundry rooms in each house
• a wonderful play area in the backyard was donated by a the Cargill Corporation.
• the renovated basement offers offices for staff; two activity areas where children learn the community characters of caring, kindness, responsibility and respect; and two classrooms where moms participate in the program classes
Hope Family Center teaches and models biblically-based principles in order to help women and children be all that God intended them to be.
Hope Family Center provides a safe, clean environment, 24/7 staff, and individualized case management. The program is designed for twelve months or longer. It is expected that families commit to stay and complete the program.
Our Purpose Is to Assist Women in the Following Areas:
Offer a variety of coursework with emphasis on spiritual development, recovery issues and, life-skills.
Introduce the basics of Christianity and the person of Jesus Christ.
Help them know and follow Christ by helping to establish a Biblical relationship with Him.
Help them develop a healthy Christ-like identity so they can establish healthy mutually supporting relationships. Residents learn to live by the following characteristics:
• Grace (undeserved love)
• Longsuffering (patiently endures wrongs or difficulties)
• Meekness / Humbleness
• Mercifulness (undeserved forgiveness)
Establish a care plan, which will identify their personal goals.
Help them move toward accepting personal responsibility for their actions.
Scripture states that children are a gift from the Lord; therefore, we will provide the following support ministry for children:
• Bible reading, stories, music and other activities
• Educational opportunities
• Fun, play, recreation
• Restoration and healing through parent involvement
The H.E.A.R.T. Recovery Program
• The HEART of the matter at Hope Family Center is healing and restoration in a long-term supportive environment.
• The H.E.A.R.T. Recovery Program is “grace-based” and unique in the State of Iowa. Our comprehensive continuum of care model focuses on five phases over a period of 18-24 months.
• The five phases incorporate Healing, Equipping, Accountability, Recovery and Transition to women and children in need of hope and help in regaining stability in their lives
• Our recovery program focuses on the three different areas of
Residents are provided opportunities to learn and grow in five basic areas thereby giving them a foundation on which to build a new life.
- Spiritual Development (includes but not limited to)
• Bible classes
• Church attendance
• Mentoring support
- Recovery/Counseling (includes but not limited to)
• Individual counseling
• Support groups
• Relapse prevention classes
• Relationship classes
• Conflict management
• Addiction recovery
- Life Skills (includes but not limited to)
• Financial management to include spending and savings plan
• Physical health/hygiene
- Educational Development and Employment
• Educational assessment
• GED certification or High School diploma
• Vocational/technical or higher learning
• Job search (upon completion of educational goal or program)
• Employment is discouraged during the first 60 days.
• Employment is allowed only if it does not interfere with other program activities and only after individual educational goals have been achieved.
- Individualized Case Management
• Weekly case management meetings
• Basic needs assessment
• Establish care plan to include mid- and long-term goal setting
• Identification of support team
• The first four months in program:
• women attend intensive daily morning classes
• afternoons are open for women to study and other personal commitments
• At month five, program classes move to one day a week and women either begin working on their GED, attending continuing education classes / college, or working part-time
• Children go to school or off-site daycare
• Daily bedroom checks are conducted during their first nine months to help establish good housekeeping skills
• Families have daily Home Care chores to maintain their community living space
• Residents conduct a weekly house meeting and attend community meetings twice a week
Bible study, devotions, worship disciplines:
• All classes/program elements are required whether it’s the spiritual development track, or the recovery or life-skills tracks.
• We have a Christianity class 101 that our mothers start out in as they are entering the program.
• We use the Alpha curriculum which explores the basic principles of Christianity and is geared toward non-believers, seekers and new believers. New moms, attend the Alpha two mornings a week for eight weeks.
• Then they move into a Christianity 102 class, which is a “Growing in Christ” study. This will be a weekly class for 8 weeks.
• This class is followed by Christianity 103
• Experiencing God study
• Purpose Driven Life study
• Their first four months, staff and volunteers do daily devotions in a class setting. The goal is to begin to build a foundation of the discipline but also to teach different techniques.
• After four months, our mothers are required to lead / attend devotions with each other three times weekly and then do devotions on their own the other days.
• Moms are required to journal their devotions and report to their case manager.
• Our mothers are required to find a church home within their first month and then attend weekly.
• As mothers mature in their faith, they are encouraged to expand their study of God’s Word, daily prayer, Christian fellowship and outreach.
Hope Family Center Volunteer Opportunities
We have numerous volunteer opportunities at our Family Center. We encourage you to review the list by clicking here.
Once you have reviewed the Hope Family Center volunteer opportunities, we invite you to complete an on-line volunteer application. CLICK HERE.
Hope Family Center Photo Album