Hope for the Journey Home
Hope for the Journey Home is a ministry for families who are experiencing homelessness for the first time. HJH is a ministry of Guardian Angels Catholic Church along with St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi and more than 30 churches in Washington and suburban Ramsey counties.
Hope for the Journey Home Becomes a Local Mission for Youth Groups
As Hope for the Journey continues to be temporarily closed due to COVID-19, we have remained a vital organization for volunteers of all ages in our community. Throughout the summer we have been blessed with the service of three youth groups doing much needed work around our home. In June, youth from Rockpoint Church in Lake Elmo loaded up “two Honda CRV’s” full of supplies from our store room and pantry to donate back to the community with a more immediate need than our shelter. We shared our resources with the Merrick Community Center of St. Paul who made items available to 4 food shelves. In July, Patrick, our AmeriCorps VISTA leader, and Beth, our Volunteer Coordinator, were able to present Hope for the Journey Home as a local mission for the youth of King of Kings Lutheran Church in Woodbury. This was an amazing opportunity for Beth and Patrick to connect with the high school youth on a more individual level and highlight how homelessness and housing are needs and concerns every community faces. The youth of Grace of God Lutheran church in Oakdale also was not able to participate in an out of state mission trip. They dedicated their local mission trip to community organizations closer to home. They spent the morning doing work next door at the Food Shelf and gardens. They spent time at HJH in the afternoon and did some much-needed deep cleaning. The house is looking spotless for our eventual reopening. We are excited that our organization was able to aid those in the community, of all ages, in finding missions and service opportunities that serve the needs of not only the guests coming into our home but the community as a whole.
AmeriCorp Vista Leader Work Comes to a Close at HJH
Patrick Twomey’s work as a VISTA Leader ended August 3. We were very fortunate to have him work on a variety of projects that enhanced our resources and training materials, for volunteers, volunteers coordinators and presentation materials for both faith communities and community based organizations. As a result of our VISTA Leaders work with HJH, we were able to enhance our presence throughout Washington County. This resulted in an increased awareness of what HJH does and how we do it and led to new relationships and partnerships. The building upon, as well as forging new relationships also resulted in new financial donors, strengthened donor relationships, and resulted in increased giving among individuals, community and our current faith partners. We are grateful for the year of service Patrick was able to spend with us as a ViSTA Leader and wish him well as he returns to his studies as a full time student at Gonzaga University.
How You can still be involved at HJH
Weekly I receive calls from our partners letting me know that many of you are looking for ways that your faith community can continue to be involved in mission work when you cannot gather for church services and church related activities. And we realize that as volunteers we need to redefine how you can be involved at HJH. Our conversations related to reopening continue and we will be opening in the near future for 1-2 families. We are in the process of defining how volunteers can be involved in new and different ways.
Some of those ways will be the following:
- Dropping off meals as part of a weekly meal train during your faith communities week of service
- Signing up to donate items needed to restock our pantry, and refrigerator
- Assisting with day time house chores when families are not be present
- Supporting us financially so that we can pay an overnight employee until we determine if and when it is safe to bring a volunteer back into this role. HJH has applied for and is awaiting word on a grant that can assist in moving toward temporary paid overnight help.
- Praying for the families in need of housing. Our reopening and collaborative relationship with the Community Resource Center of St. Andrews as we begin the process of reopening the Hugo and HJH shelter
If you need to contact us during this time of transition, please call Trish Brokman at 651-503-3380.