Helping Hands mission is “Caring People Helping People in Need” that said, our underlying mission is to enable people in the faith-based community to effectively serve the people in our community that are in need. Late last year we shifted our focus from helping homeless people off the street to the prevention of homelessness. We still work with homeless people when called upon, however our success at preventing homelessness is far greater than helping people off the street.
This year we have provided assistance to 102 low-income families. That assistance has been in the form of emergency food relief, guidance to county programs that provide assistance, negotiations with landlords and property managers, rental assistance, job services such as resume writing and interview coaching, and a weekly job posting of more than 1,000 jobs.
Our teams of outreach workers have made more than 200 contacts with homeless people in our neighborhoods this year. They have helped people get into programs such as Hacienda in Perris, Salvation Army, Teen Challenge, and Valley Re-start. A recent example was the City of Lake Elsinore asked us to help a Vet sleeping in his car near the Jack-in-the-box. After about an hour of talking and then sharing a lunch with him at the restaurant we discovered he worked at Lake Elsinore Unified School District as a janitor. We found him a bed in the Corona rescue mission and contacted his employer. They have many programs to help these situations and made sure he would stay off the streets.
Our Senior Care program has community volunteers delivering food and companionship to more than 100 disabled low-income seniors. We work in the cities of Murrieta, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Quail Valley, Canyon Lake, Menifee, Perris, and Hemet. We expect that program to grow to more than 250 recipients next year. We now have more than 50 volunteers serving in this program.
We have partnered with The Faith Coalition, another community service organization that has a goal of strengthening the many Faith Based community service organizations in our communities. Together we will work to assist, inform and educate our Kingdom working partners.
Although we can speak to many successes this year our most notable accomplishment that is ongoing checks all the boxes in our chosen mission. Helping Hands is excited to share the A Home For Christmas program that has been laid on our hearts. Within a two-day period we were made aware of a recreational vehicle becoming available to us, followed by being made aware of a grandmother with two grandchildren on the verge of becoming homeless. We cannot go into details of how it happened however we can say the circumstances of the situation were not brought on by any actions of the grandmother or her two grandsons ages 5 and 8. The gift and the need are about to be united.
Helping Hands is blessed to have Canyon Lake Community Church join us in this project. They have volunteered to clean the RV inside and out as it has been sitting for a number of years. They have also volunteered to furnish it with necessary appliances, kitchenware and linens. The youth group will conduct a food drive to fully stock the cupboards. They have also agreed to offer up prayer and friendship for the family as they begin a new journey in their lives.
The men’s group from another local church will move the RV into a local recreational vehicle park and set it up. Both groups are contributing to a fund to provide first and last months rent, cover the cost of some mechanical repairs, utility deposits and DMV fees.
This project will enable more than 100 volunteers from all ages to participate in homelessness prevention in a meaningful way. This program will enable this grandmother to find a stable environment while transitioning into a more permanent environment. Helping Hands believes for 2017 we can say, Mission Accomplished.