It is with tremendous sorrow that we announce the passing of one of our staff members, Frank Shortt. Frank went home to be with the Lord on January 2nd.
Frank was not just another staff person at The Hope Center. Frank first came to us seeking help for his addictions. He found victory in Jesus and was a 2015 graduate of our Foundations Life Recovery program. After graduating, Frank started working at The Hope Center where he was a truck driver, kitchen staff, deskman, chaplain, and most recently, a work supervisor for the men currently in Foundations. One thing that everyone at The Hope Center will tell you is that Frank was a hard worker.
Frank loved his job because he loved serving the Lord. Working at The Hope Center gave Frank the opportunity to give back and help encourage the men who were in the Foundations program just like he was. He loved investing in the men and helping them to see that they are capable of victory in Christ. He strived to be a worthy example to the men that the miraculous work God did in his life was possible in theirs. He was a cheerleader for others whose path was similar to his.
Frank didn’t always have an easy life. He dealt with drug addictions and found himself in prison. And his first attempt at recovery in our Foundations program was not successful. But when he returned he was able to put an end to his old self and become renewed and changed through Jesus and never looked back.
Frank was a father. Frank was a husband. Frank was a coworker. Frank was a friend. But most importantly, Frank was a follower of Christ who is now fully healed and experiencing joy in Heaven with his Savior.
Frank leaves a huge hole at The Hope Center, but, he also leaves behind a great legacy. Words cannot express how thankful we are for all Frank did at The Hope Center and how much we’re truly going to miss him every single day. As much as this hurts, we rejoice knowing the we will see him again on the other side of this life.
Please pray for his wife Angel, his family in Hagerstown & Baltimore, and all the people he touched in this lifetime who were able to call him a friend.
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
We’re wishing each of you a very Merry Christmas! May you all have a safe and happy day celebrating the birth of Jesus!
Thanksgiving will be here before you know it! And this year we’re excited to be hosting our annual Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast again in-person at the Trinity Center!!
Hosting our Thanksgiving feast during the pandemic meant that for the last two years we could only provide delivery of meals and not a huge community celebration. But now we’re back and ready to host hundreds of people for our Thanksgiving buffet.
But to pull off an event of this size we need help. We’re currently looking for volunteers to help set up, serve, and clean up at our celebration in the Trinity Center. Doors for the event open at 11am and the celebration begins at 11:30am. Most of the event is concluded by 1pm. The majority of volunteers would be used between 10am -1pm unless otherwise noted.
This is a great activity for families, coworkers, youth groups, Sunday school classes, or just you! You’ll have the opportunity to meet so many people and be a part of genuinely fun and fulfilling Thanksgiving celebration.
If you’re interested in volunteering or learning more please call Michelle at 301.739.1165 or email her at email@example.com.
Learn more about our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast and other events, programs, services and ways to get involved by visiting hagerstownhopecenter.com.
In July we were honored to be able to celebrate three men who graduated from our Foundations Life Recovery program!
Join us in congratulating Odell, Sean and Robert on their big accomplishment!!
Foundations Life Recovery is a 13-month residential program where guys seek help and recovery from addictions, personal issues, and destructive choices. The men attend classes, chapel, and counseling sessions to help them overcome the spiritual and personal obstacles that hindered their ability to live a life of purpose.
We asked each of our graduates to write down a little something about what brought them to The Hope Center, their journey to recovery, and what the future holds for them. These are their words:
“I grew up in Western Maryland. I got saved at 10 or 12 years old at the Church of God in Cumberland, Maryland.
I became a truck driver, fell on hard times, and ended up homeless in Hagerstown. I came to The Hope Center, got into their Christian program (Foundations Life Recovery) to try to get back in touch with God.
I got through the program and now I am going to church again and I have God in my life.
I am planning to find work and get my life back together and move on with my life.
I keep thinking abot Philippians 4:13 which says, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.'”
“While I have had a relationship with my Lord and Savior all my life, in my later years I fell into the sins of pride, anger, lust, and deceit. Since coming to The Hope Center, thanks to the staff of people that God put here to help men, I have recognized my sins and have spent many hours praying and repenting.
My experiences here, and the program classes and chapel services, have brought me much closer to Jesus. I now walk a more humble path, choosing forgiveness and understanding, as Jesus would do.
My walk with God during my studies in the Foundations Life Recovery program has prepared me to walk with Him moving forward to living the next chapter in my life.”
“I’m from East Port, Maryland. I came to The Hope Center because of a housing situation. I stayed to learn more about our Lord and Saviro, to find out who He really is.
I arrived in January, 2021 after graduating from the Wells House after a lengthy prison sentence. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I was released to the Well House program where I graduated. After that, I had housing issues so I was given a choice to go to REACH or The Hope Center. I was told by a person who worked at REACH that The Hope Center would be a better fit for me.
Once I came to The Hope Center I found myself in a position to get some answers to some questions I had about Jesus. The best way to get a full understanding was to join the program, so that’s what I did.
My favorite verse: Jeremiah 17:9 – “The hear is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?’ That was the first verse I memorized here.
My future plans aer to continue my walk with God and stay out of trouble, and contribute to society and find a job I can be proud of.”
We are so incredibly proud of these 3 men! They have worked so hard to get their lives back on track and have grown so much closer to God during this process of recovery. They’ve faced many challenges on their road to recovery but they’ve stayed the course and kept their focus on God and are now celebrating their success!
Please keep Odell, Sean, and Robert in your prayers as they move forward and start to re-establish themselves into society. Their life of recovery is just beginning and the prayer support of God’s people is so important to their long-term success.
Also, please pray for the men who are currently in our Foundations Life Recovery program and those who will eventually join it. The challenges are great and victory is hard earned but knowing that there’s a cheering section supporting them, loving them, and praying for them helps to make a huge difference! Please continue to pray for our Foundations Life Recovery program as it changes the lives of the men who are a part of it.
And for each of you who support The Hope Center: thank you! Your support, whether financial, through donations of food or gently used items, volunteer work, or your prayers, have been a part of the success of these men. You played a major role in helping provide housing, comfort, love, and hope to these men and thousands of men who enter The Hope Center each year. While these men aren’t able to thank each of you, please know that they are eternally grateful for your support!
So one more time, join us in congratulating Odell, Sean, and Robert for their success!!
To learn more about Foundations Life Recovery please visit hagerstownhopecenter.com/foundations
In observance of Good Friday and the celebration of Resurrection Sunday we will be generally closed on Friday, April 15th.
Our Administrative Office, Thrift Stores (Hagerstown & Chambersburg), Donation Center, Wildside Youth, and Recycling Center will be closed on Friday.
Our Thrift Stores will be open on Saturday, April 16th, for normal operating hours.
Our Soup Line, overnight homeless shelter, and evening chapel/meal will be open and operating on Good Friday and Easter Sunday as well. These essential community services never close including all holidays.
For more info about our Good Friday/Easter schedule please call 301.739.1165 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are looking for a local church to attend on Easter Sunday and would like suggestions please contact us at the phone number or email listed above and we will give you a list of churches to check out for the resurrection celebration.
The beginning of each month we celebrate the birthdays of guys who are a part of our Foundations Life Recovery residential program. This month we’re celebrating Troy who has a birthday on July 9th. Troy got his very own birthday cake thanks to our friend, Stormy, who bakes a cake each month for our birthday fellas.
Troy, originally from Baltimore, is one of our new residents. He joined the program in March ’21 and is working towards his graduation in the spring of 2022. Troy came seeking help dealing with drug abuse and homelessness.
Any time we can celebrate a birthday with our residents is very special to us. But for Troy this was a special moment as well. With tears in his eyes Troy told us that this was the first time in many years that anyone had sang ‘happy birthday’ to him.
And this is why we’re here. To bring hope – even if it’s in the form of a silly birthday song – to anyone who walks into our doors seeking help and refuge. We’re so thankful for Troy and being a part of a celebration of another year of life for this incredible man.
Please pray for Troy and the other men in our Foundations Life Recovery program. It’s not easy seeking help and even more difficult following through but God is great and has wonderful things planned for these men so please keep all of them in your prayers. God is doing amazing things in the lives of these men so continue to pray for them and encourage them to keep up the good fight.
Thank you to each of you who donate and volunteer. You are a part of Troy’s celebration. Because of generous and kind people like you Troy is here celebrating another birthday and optimistic about so many more birthdays in the future. Thank you for partnering with us to help wonderful people like Troy!
“Because He lives, I can face tomorrowBecause He lives, all fear is goneBecause I know He holds the futureAnd life is worth the living, just because He lives”
It’s been quite a year for all of us. Hardship, sacrifice, stress, fear, and for many, the loss of a loved one. But the power of what we celebrate this day is the freedom from all those feelings and the eternal promise of HOPE.
The morning of the third day the disciples were still living in fear and disbelief over the tragedy and loss of Christ’s crucifixion. But with the break of dawn came the Son rise that would forever change the story of humankind.
As the sun rose today so did the hope of God’s promise and the reminder of His great love! Easter is a love story from God to you. When you’re feeling alone, when you’re scared, when you’re feeling hopeless, just remember that Jesus was saying your name as He hung on that cross. And he was thinking of you when He defeated death and walked out of that tomb. You are valuable. You are precious. You are loved – and the Easter story is proof. Your pain, hurt, fear, and sadness are His now. Tell Him your pain. Tell Him your fear. And trust Him to fight for you – because He already has. And He won. For you.
“The thought of my homelessness and pain is bitter poison. I think constantly and my spirit is depressed. Yet HOPE returns when I remember one thing. The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. The Lord is all I have, so in Him I put my HOPE.” Lamentations 3: 19-26
May the HOPE of our risen Lord give you peace, joy, and victory today! He is risen! He is risen indeed!
If you’d like to speak to someone about any of these job postings please call 301.739.1165 or email email@example.com.
And please spread the word to your friends, family, church and others to help us quickly fill these positions. Thank you! Also, if you’re unable to apply but would like to volunteer please call 301.739.1165 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2020 has been an absolutely difficult year for all of us but November dealt The Hope Center family a painful blow with the sudden passing of Danny Sluss and Reggie Carroll.
Danny graduated from Foundations Life Recovery, our 13-month rehabilitation program, in February of this year and was doing great in his new life. After graduating Danny had gotten his own place and had gotten a job at FedEx. He was also working to get his license again, which was one of his post-graduation goals he set for himself. Unfortunately, Danny passed away unexpectedly in his hometown in Delaware.
Reggie was a current resident in our Foundations program who contracted COVID-19 and passed away during his recovery from the virus. Reggie came to us from DC to seek help with his addictions. While in the program he worked in our kitchen and was a deskman during the day. Reggie was so close to graduating from the program and was so excited to achieve his goal of completing the program and being free from his addictions.
If you had the pleasure of meeting or working with either of these men you would know how kind, friendly, helpful, and genuine they were. It was a delight to know both of them and to have been able to be a part of their victory story.
Please pray for the families and loved ones of each of these men. Our hearts are broken and we know their families are hurting as well.
The passing of each of these men is tragic in its own way, but we can rejoice in knowing that both are in the protective arms of their Savior now. When these precious men left this earth they were instantly welcomed into their eternal home. Danny & Reggie both had a personal relationship with Christ and we take comfort in knowing that they are both at peace now.
Please remember to pray for the men currently enrolled in Foundations, all of our graduates, and for the future men who will be coming to seek help. This is not an easy fight during the program nor any easier after graduation. The stakes are high and Satan knows exactly how to destroy. Please continue to pray for strength and power for the guys who’ve had victory in Christ. Each day is a battle and we so sincerely pray for victory for our graduates as they venture back into their world.
Also remember to pray for the vulnerable in our society and those who are currently physically fighting COVID-19. For some of us it’s not a big deal but for others it’s a life & death situation. Please remember these vulnerable and valuable people and wear a mask to help protect them from this deadly virus. And join us in praying that the vaccine works and can help us protect our friends and family from the virus.
As we say our farewells to Danny and Reggie we’re reminded about the one fact of each of these men that matters so deeply – they had found their victory in Christ! This song has always felt like an anthem or fight song for the Church but now, more than ever, it has such a powerful message about the lives of these two precious men, Danny & Reggie:
“I heard an old, old story, how a Savior came from glory How He gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me I heard about His groaning, of His precious blood’s atoning Then I repented of my sins and won the victory
Oh victory in Jesus, my Savior forever He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood He loved me ‘ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood
I heard about His healing, of His cleansing power revealing How He made the lame to walk again and ’caused the blind to see And then I cried, “Dear Jesus, come and heal my broken spirit” And somehow Jesus came and brought to me the victory
I heard about a mansion He has built for me in glory. And I heard about the streets of gold beyond the crystal sea; About the angels singing, and the old redemption story, And some sweet day I’ll sing up there The song of victory.
Oh victory in Jesus, my Savior forever He sought me and He bought me with His redeeming blood He loved me ‘ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood”
Thanksgiving 2020 is in the books… and is one for the books!
Our tradition of hosting a large group celebration in the Trinity Center was thwarted this year by COVID-19. We had originally planned to provide meals to-go and delivery but with the quick increase in cases in the area and a few positive cases at The Hope Center we decided to provide delivery only as an option for our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast.
Since we’ve never done delivery as an option we were basically working the unknown. But once the delivery reservation date came and went we were better able to see how it would all go down.
Our volunteers started trickling in the week of Thanksgiving to start preparing some of the foods for the delivery feast. From Dorcas creating the delicious stuffing, to Becky roasting all the turkeys (19 in total), to Laurel, Melanie, and Keith taking the meat off the bones, our pre-Thanksgiving crew worked hard to make sure our feast was ready for the big day. Then came the arrival of all the pies provided by Germantown Church of God and delivered by our wonderful friends, Mark & Sue Hosler.
Then bright and early on Thanksgiving – actually earlier than the sun – staff and volunteers descended on the kitchen to start preparing all the different elements for our feast. From Michelle and Melanie making the sweet potatoes and Doug carving the turkey breast, our kitchen came to life like it would on any Thanksgiving Day. Our faithful friend, Amanda, showed up like she does every Thanksgiving to help all over the kitchen, and good friends of The Hope Center Sue & Dan Thornton arrived to provide a huge help to the day. And then our mashed potato man, Larry, dropped by to make sure we provided the best mashed potatoes as he does every Thanksgiving.
Once the pies were cut, the cranberry sauce in individualized containers, and all the food prepared, our dining room became a food delivery factory! We had volunteers dipping the food, volunteers filling delivery boxes, and volunteers driving the food all over the Hagerstown area for our community friends to enjoy!
It was a long day but it was a huge success! While we absolutely missed seeing all our volunteers, guests, family, and friends, we are still so happy we were able to continue the tradition of providing Thanksgiving for our community! We’ve been providing this Thanksgiving Feast since the very beginning when the Rescue Mission was founded by Jim & Ellen Resh all the way back in 1955. Coronavirus may have caused a few hiccups but it didn’t keep us from being able to celebrate all the blessings God has provided during this unconventional year.
And speaking of God’s blessings – what a year of blessings it’s been! God has provided for us repeatedly this year in so many awesome ways!! And this Thanksgiving celebration was just another visible way of God showing His faithfulness to our ministry. Every time things looked more difficult than we expected, God sent someone or something to give us hope. Our volunteers on Thanksgiving were absolutely amazing. From Sue Thornton working her magic in the kitchen to all the food servers filling the delivery orders, to all of our happy drivers who dropped off meals to families and came back to deliver more! In the midst of this challenging year God has continually showed up for this ministry and provided in miraculous ways.
We hope each of you had a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving this year! And while we enjoyed seeing our delivery feast make everyone happy we can’t wait to host everyone in person next year!
Thanks to all of our donors, volunteers, and staff for going above and beyond for our unprecedented Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast! We honestly thank God for each and every one of you who helped to make it a success. Thank you so much!!