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.
News & Notes from Trish, Hope for the Journey Home Coordinator
Even though we temporarily remain closed to families due to COVID-19, we have been busy preparing for reopening. We appreciate the many inquiries about shelter needs and for some of you, your interest in returning to a volunteer role that you miss. We miss you, too! Because our priority is offering a safe place for families, staff and volunteers our discussions with our partners at St. Andrews continue to evolve. Just as physical distancing has required us to embrace our favorite activities differently, how we serve families will also look different (at least temporarily), too. Volunteer roles will change for your personal health. Details are not yet solidified, but we know there will be a place for volunteers. In the beginning, we may need help with purchased delivered meals, we may be looking for volunteers to do house chores or other organizing tasks. Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, and hand soap will be at the top of our donation lists.
Responding to COVID-19 has reminded us that there is a solution to every challenge and that we can benefit from exploring new ways of doing what we do. We know we need to be both thoughtful and thorough in how we plan and prepare for what our new way of sheltering families and welcoming volunteers will look like.
You can be sure that when we are ready to open we will post new policies, make them available ahead for time to all volunteers to view before deciding to volunteer, and honor your choice and comfort level related to volunteering. We are grateful for your continued belief in our mission. Thank you for trusting us these past months as we shared resources from our freezers, pantry, and storage room with those in need of them. And finally, thank you for supporting the Challenge Grant, both financially and with your prayers. We truly are blessed!
Challenge Grant Goes Over the Top
Donors from our partner churches, community groups and wonderful volunteers all combined to push us over the top. Our goal of $25,000 was met and then some. If you were able to give during this challenging time period, you have our deepest gratitude. Whether you were able to give or not we continue to rely on your prayers for the families we serve. Please continue to pray that, working with our partners at St. Andrews Community Resource Center we are able to reopen in the near future.
A Note from Patrick
I cannot believe my time as a VISTA Volunteer is already coming to a close. Despite the unprecedented times that will mark half of my experience, my year at Hope for the Journey Home (sponsored by the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administrators) has been an incredible experience of growth and learning. Over the course of the past year I have met countless people at HJH that have given me hope and brought joy to my life. Despite COVID-19 cutting into the second half of my year as a VISTA volunteer, working at Hope for the Journey Home has been one of the best experiences of my life. It is difficult that I will likely be gone by the time we re-open, and may never see some of you that I met along the way again, but I certainly won’t forget any of the wonderful faces and hearts of all the people that come into contact with us here at HJH. Being at HJH for just one year, I am proud to have been part of such a great organization that has had and will continue to have such a profound impact on members of our community.
Since I started at HJH last August, I was able to experience life as usual at the shelter for seven and a half months. In that time I worked to recruit new volunteers, retain existing volunteers, find local partners to help fund the shelter, and countless other tasks that are too numerous to list. Much of this work has continued through the pandemic, although everything looks a bit different now, as we are all too used to. I have learned more in a year than I ever could have imagined thanks to all the wonderful staff, volunteers, and guests of the shelter.
I look forward to my future where I will be returning to college to finish out my undergrad degree. I will keep HJH in my thoughts and prayers and I plan to visit often. I look forward to seeing how HJH will grow in the future and am sure that HJH will continue providing hope to countless families for years to come.
If you need to contact us during this time of transition, please call Trish Brokman at 651-503-3380.