This year I was invited to join the Board of Directors for Matthew’s Hope, a non profit dedicated to the rehabilitation of homeless men and women in the Orange County area.
It was a year of major transition for the organization as they were facing the difficulty of finding a new location for all operations under the Matthew’s Hope Umbrella. Many individuals and families are enrolled in the program and rely on the care provided to help them get back on their feet. In order to do so, those enrolled go through a screening process to best understand the circumstances that lead to their situation and any underlying health issues that may be present.
The most important thing to know is that there are no handouts. The program believes 100% in the development of the individual’s self-confidence and self-sustaining practices. Guests (a term used in the program to refer to the homeless) earn points, (instead of money) performing various jobs. Some of these jobs include carpentry, construction, maintenance, gardening, general labor, and more. Guests can use the points earned, to by food, toiletries, and other needed items. The goal is to eventually move towards a job, earning money with a company outside of the program. Matthew’s Hope is involved every step of the way, even some time after the individual is back on their feet.
Beyond this, Matthew’s Hope recognized the mentality of homelessness can often be passed down to future generations and decided to get involved in the education and care of small children. Firm Foundation Preschool was started to offer free education and care, for not just the homeless children, but also children who’s parents are on the brink of losing everything.
This year, I wanted to focus my attention beyond the standard Board of Director duties and work towards telling the Matthew’s Hope story through video. My goal was to encourage others in the community to get involved from a volunteer and/or donor standpoint.
What was a difficult transition year, turned out to be a series of incredible moments where the community came together. My wife Amy and our two sons were involved with me every step of the way. We’re just one piece to this puzzle, witnesses to love in action. I’m proud to be a part of this community and can’t wait to see what 2017 brings!