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.
National Volunteer Recognition Week
We have always known that Hope for the Journey Home would not be able to keep our doors open without the support of so many in our community. This week, we say a special, “Thank you!” to all volunteers who have supported Hope for the Journey Home this past year. A special thank you to Tom Strom, parishioner of St. Thomas Aquinas in St. Paul Park, who has continued to volunteer as an Overnight Host since we reopened last fall. Tom has recently received the 2021 Washington County Outstanding Volunteer, Community Involvement Award in recognition for his volunteerism at Hope for the Journey Home. Every individual has the power to make a difference and Tom is making that difference every day. Thank you, Tom! To read more about Tom click here.
Hope for the Journey Home Is Open!
HJH is now sheltering our first guests since mid-March and we are so grateful for the support we have received as the house was made ready for this new way of doing things. Please know that all operations are in strict adherence to state health guidelines regarding COVID-19. We know that our volunteers will need to evaluate whether now is the time to come back to HJH. Follow this link to read more about our Volunteer Policies including changes we have made regarding distancing, sanitation and all other procedures. HJH staff welcome your calls or emails to talk about details.
There are three ways you can help right now.
1. You can sign up to provide an evening meal. Learn more at this link:
- April: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d4fadac2fa0f5c34-meals9
- May: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d4fadac2fa0f5c34-meals10
2. You can volunteer for a NEW daytime shift. We will temporarily need to be open to our guests during the day. To fill this staffing gap, we are looking for volunteers to spend some time at HJH on weekdays between 8:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. You could sign up for a couple of hours or for the whole shift. You could volunteer once a week, once a month or whatever time you can spare. This is a low-key opportunity with minimal guest contact – you would be answering the door or the phone or doing light tasks as needed. Most days would offer you time to read or knit and just be present. Contact Trish t or call 651-503-3380 if you are interested in this role.
3. Volunteers are needed for late afternoons and overnights. As usual, you can sign up by following the links below:
- April 11-17 ttsu.me/hjhapril11
- April 18-24 ttsu.me/hjhapril18
- April 25-May1 ttsu.me/hjhapril25
- May 2-8 ttsu.me/hjhmay2
- May 9-15 ttsu.me/hjhmay9
- May 16-22 ttsu.me/hjhmay16
- May 23-30 ttsu.me/hjhmay23
- May 31-June 5 ttsu.me/hjhmay30
If you would like to make a financial donation, please click here: https://my.e360giving.com/app/Giving/guardianangelschurch
If you, or members of your church, are interested in donating other items, here is a small list of items we need at the shelter right now:
- Pop up room air fresheners
- Reusable water bottles
- Small & medium garbage bags
- Laundry detergent
- Dryer sheets
- Link here for Volunteer Policies for COVID-19
- Link here for a list of items/supplies we are currently seeking donations for
- VCPP PowerPoint
- Combined Checklists
2020 A Year of Blessings
2020 was a roller coaster year at Hope for the Journey Home. We had the honor of observing families overcome a variety of obstacles with great resilience. In early 2020 families residing at HJH experienced the challenges of locating and securing affordable housing with long waiting lists. Then, there was the challenge of being sheltered at a hotel during the beginning stages of the pandemic. This past fall we experienced 4 families feeling safe, comfortable, and secure in a family shelter where we mask up daily and engage in high levels of cleanliness.
Finding the right words to describe this past year is truly a challenging task. Engaging in a physical makeover of HJH so that we could serve meals and dine in a safe setting, creating a family room in addition to a bedroom for each family and creating space as well as hiring an overnight staff member in 30 days was a true undertaking. The HJH team of staff and volunteers learned new procedures and policies and our teamwork evolved. We are grateful for the hope of family, friends, employment, and housing.
Hope for the Journey Home 2020 highlights include:
- Sheltered a total of 13 families
- Transitioned and provided shelter and meals for 3 families for 6 weeks at a hotel (3 families moved into stable housing 10 days prior to this transition)
- Shared food from our freezers and pantry as well as personal care items and diapers with Christian Cupboard Food Shelf, 8 families in need and Keystone and Merrick Community Services in St. Paul
- Embraced youth from King of Kings Lutheran Church, Grace of God Lutheran Church and Rockpoint Church in volunteerism and education as part of a “Local Missions” experience
- Concluded our VISTA Leadership Grant in August focusing on volunteer engagement and recruitment of new partners
- Hired an overnight staff Mid-October
- Transformed the physical space of HJH to better serve families in response to COVID-19
- Received $22,000 in grants from the Thomas Kemp Foundation, Edina Realty Foundation, Open Your Hearts to the Homeless, the St. Croix Valley Foundation and the SIT Foundation
- Found creative ways to stay connected to and engage volunteers since re-opening via zoom, an evening meal train, and numerous donations of hygiene and cleaning supplies masks, snacks for guests and volunteerism in your homes.
- Successfully met the goals of two Challenge Grants that challenged us to raise a total of $40,000. Raised a total of $89,700
As we enter in to 2021, we embrace a new year filled with hope. We extend our gratitude for sharing your gifts with Hope for the Journey Home. We are blessed and honored that you have chosen to walk this path with us. Please continue to look for updated information and volunteer sign up opportunities.
Trish Brokman and the HJH Staff
Changes we have implemented include:
- Open 24/7 to families (an additional 6 hours per day)
- Overnight staffing
- Changes to our space and how we serve meals to meet physical distancing needs
- Additional staffing while we re-engage volunteers
Please donate here anytime: https://my.e360giving.com/mobi/?uid=guar8260290.
Checks can be mailed to:
Hope for the Journey Home
8260 4th Street N.
Oakdale, MN 55128