I came to know Hope Street in a way that I believe many people come to know Hope Street, or any good cause for that matter, from people who know the organization. In my case, there were several circumstances at the same time that introduced me to the ministry. I was serving with Perry Brown on our church’s board. I respected and enjoyed Perry’s friendship but more importantly I had great respect for his heart. He was the executive director of Hope Street at that time, and in general conversation with him I was introduced to the Green House for People and it’s work. At the same time, my wife was leading the effort to set up a resource center now known as The Vine within the walls of Hope Street. Lastly, we knew Ashley Thomas, now Executive Director, who was at that time being hired on staff at Hope Street.
When we were initially excited by what we heard was happening at Hope Street we invested with our cash contributions to the success of the Green House. I then attended one of the open houses (pre-COVID) to see the facility and met some of the residents. Later I was asked to become a board member which I agreed to after praying and analyzing my additional investment. Shortly after that I found myself at the grill for a cookout open house which opened up conversations with some of the members. Hosting Sunday night dinners, working the snack table at the Hike for Hope, and attending the Family Reunion event all helped me grow in seeing the value of each individual at Hope Street.
As I had told the members at a Sunday night dinner meeting, I was born and raised in Milwaukee further out Capitol Drive, graduating from John Marshall High School, and had driven by 26th and Capitol uncountable times but it wasn’t until I got involved and invested in Hope Street that I saw the needs and the faces, heard people’s stories, and felt their successes and failures. This made a difference in my life and my outlook. Seeing the striving and struggles that is Hope Street has changed who I am and how I view the world. I have been excited to be able to share with friends and colleagues all that is going on at Hope Street and soon also Shechem.
One of the things I appreciate about Hope Street is that it is not a huge organization. It is changing the world little by little in the neighborhood around 26th and Capitol. You can see the difference and the positive impact of the Green House on individuals firsthand. I would invite you, as I have invited many of my friends. to start an investment in this Green House for people at any level and share in the excitement that is taking place there. You too will see the concrete returns of your investment in people’s lives.
(Hope Street Board Member)
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