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.
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
For the first time since the pandemic started we were able to bring our staff, Board of Directors, Auxiliary, and residents together for an evening of fun, food, and fellowship.
We hosted our first Hope Center Family Fall Fest at our Hope Center Farm located just outside of Hagerstown on the Conococheague Creek.
All of our staff, Board members, Auxiliary, Foundations Life Recovery residents, and some graduates were invited to come to the farm for a relaxing evening of hanging out and having fun together.
We had a hayride, lawn games, and tons of delicious food! And on top of all the fun, God provided an absolutely gorgeous fall evening to make the event perfect.
We all had a great time feasting on all the fall flavors, catching up and getting to know each other, and playing games like horseshoes and corn hole.
And it was a very special evening because this was the first time that many of the men in our residential life recovery program, Foundations, had the opportunity to hang out with the staff, Board, and Auxiliary. Many of these men entered the program after all the pandemic rules and procedures went into effect. We’ve been unable to host big group events like this so it was a special night for everyone.
The guys in our Foundations program especially loved having a night outside the city to have fun and meet new people. In fact, the guys were so excited for the event that they created a corn hole tournament with brackets prior to arriving at the farm! They organized and hosted the tournament for anyone who wanted to play.
Everyone enjoyed the food and fellowship but, let’s be honest, the food was the star of this event! We had our staff, Board, and Auxiliary all bring fall foods to share with everyone. The Hope Center provided the meat – and boy, was it good! Dillan Izer, son of staff members Aimee and Terry, spent hours overnight to make the most perfect and delicious smoked pulled pork. We’re so thankful for Dillan volunteering his night to prepare the meats for our picnic! The meat was definitely worth it!!
It was so nice to finally be able to host a large event with our staff, Board, Auxiliary, and residents. Covid has been a challenge for all of us but these moments together make us so appreciative of all the wonderful people God has put in our lives. We’re so thankful for our staff who have worked so tirelessly during the pandemic to keep our doors open and programs operating while also keeping everyone safe and healthy. God protected and provided during the pandemic and we’re so grateful to Him for all He did during these trying times.
As the pandemic slowly releases its grip on the world we’re excited for more opportunities to come together like this. And we’re really looking forward to the return of large events that include our wonderful volunteers and community guests! Continue to pray for protection for each other and continue doing what is necessary to keep each other safe during this pandemic.
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!
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”
HUGE Thank you to Ingram’s Mens Shop for donating over 20 suits to men in need at The Hope Center!
During the month of September, Ingram’s Mens Shop hosted a suit trade-in. These suits will be given to men who are working hard to transform and improve their lives.
Many men who come to The Hope Center have lost everything due to addictions and other factors. At The Hope Center they work to overcome their addictions and rebuild their lives. And part of that process is preparing them for employment and new opportunities of success.
These suits will help by giving these men confidence and encouragement as they venture out to start over. To these men it’s not just a suit, it’s HOPE of good things to come.
So thank you to everyone who donated a suit! If you missed this opportunity – you’re in luck! The suit trade-in has been EXTENDED!
Ingram’s Mens Shop has extended the trade-in through the month of October. When you donate a gently-worn suit you will receive $100 OFF the purchase of any new suit at Ingram’s!
This is a great opportunity to invest in your community and support small businesses! Ingram’s is located at 18047 Garland Groh Blvd in Hagerstown. Visit www.ingramsmensshop.com to learn more about Hagerstown’s premier men’s shop.
To learn more about our programs and services please visit hagerstownhopecenter.com
Fall is less than two weeks away and the new season is a perfect time for a new suit. And Ingram’s Mens Shop in Hagerstown is giving you a chance to not only receive money off a new suit but also give back to your community!
During the month of September, when you trade in one of your suits Ingram’s Mens Shop will give you $100 towards a new suit AND donate your suit to The Hope Center for men in our program & community who need a suit.
You know the feeling of confidence that a suit gives and Ingram’s Mens Shop is the place to go to get a quality new suit. And Ingram’s wants to make sure that men in our area who are starting over have a chance to feel that same feeling of confidence in a suit.
We’re in the business of putting a new man in a suit – and you can help put that man in his very own suit. Men in our Foundations Life Recovery program give 13 months of their lives confronting the addictions and issues that have cost them everything – family, friends, jobs, housing, and their confidence. We work with them to help them become the amazing men God created them to be. Providing them with a suit of their own is just the icing on the cake of their success. The gifted suit can be an encouragement and motivation for these guys as they venture back into the workforce and rebuilding their lives.
Please help us spread the word by telling your coworkers, church, family, friends, and neighbors. Follow us on Facebook and share our posts to your social media followers.
Ingram’s Mens Shop is located at 18047 Garland Groh Blvd in Hagerstown. Visit http://www.ingramsmensshop.com to check out the high quality selection of suits and other apparel at Hagerstown’s premier mens shop.
Along with our Thrift Stores & Donation Center, our Recycling Center is back up and running following a closure due to COVID-19. We’re happy to be able to start receiving cardboard to be recycled again.
Since reopening we’ve been blessed with a brand new baler for our Recycling Center! We want to thank Terry Izer for helping us with finding a new baler, transporting it to our Recycling Center and for training our team on how to operate the new baler. Our previous baler was old and continued to break down so this new baler is going to be a huge relief for the staff in our Recycling Center.
One of our Recycling Center operators, Danny, is actually one of our recent graduates! Danny successfully completed the program and graduated in February with three other guys from our Foundations Life Recovery program.
Originally from Wilmington, DE, Danny actually ended up at The Hope Center by choice. After completing various detox and rehabilitation programs, Danny was given the choice to go to a recovery center and he chose The Hope Center.
While at The Hope Center Danny attended Gateway Church in Williamsport. It was there, just days before Christmas in 2018, that Danny accepted Christ and became a believer.
Danny’s favorite verse is John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me.” What an incredible verse to claim as a man who was addicted and destroying his life – now he has found the path to life and truth! And what a difference this verse has made in his life!
Upon completing Foundations Life Recovery at The Hope Center Danny reflects back on the life lessons learned. The first life lesson he states is simply a verse to help stay on the right path, “Therefore submit yourself to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7.
Danny is fully aware that the key to his success is to “put the Lord Jesus before anything and make Him your center point and foundation.”
Following his graduation from Foundations Life Recovery Danny is optimistic about his future. He’s devoted to “walk according to the spirit and not the flesh.” He’s hoping to deepen the relationships that he’s made. He claims Proverbs 3:5 & 6 “trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean into your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths” as the verse for his future.
Currently Danny is working in our Recycling Center. The coronavirus pandemic put future plans on pause, as it did for the majority of us, but Danny is still optimistic about his future. One of his post-graduation goals is to get his drivers license! He was in the process of accomplishing this goal when the DMV shut down due to the pandemic but he’s excited to finally be able to restart the process of achieving his license. In addition to getting his license, Danny is ready to get out on his own. He had applied for housing prior to the outbreak but now things are moving forward for him in pursuing housing of his own!
We are so excited for all the great things happening for Danny! We pray for his continued success spiritually, emotionally, and professionally. The pandemic could’ve easily derailed his success but Danny has stuck with what he learned in Foundations and is keeping his eye on Christ.
Please continue to pray for Danny and the others guys who have graduated or are still working towards graduation from our life recovery program. Rebuilding a life isn’t easy but these guys have made the most important step to recovery: admitting they need help and asking for it. Whether they just graduated or just enrolled in the program, each day is challenging. But knowing that the community is praying for them and supporting them is the encouragement that many of these guys need to keep going strong! Thank you for your continued support – in many various ways – at The Hope Center. You are a part of the success story that is Danny and others like him.
If you’d like to learn more about the various programs and services at The Hope Center, or you’d like to start partnering with us to help change lives then please visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.
If you, or someone you know, would like more info or would like to enroll in our Foundations Life Recovery program then please call 301.739.1165 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We all love a good party but there’s just something extra special celebrating the birthdays of guys enrolled in our Foundations Life Recovery program!
Many of the guys in our Foundations Life Recovery program were destroying their lives with addictions to drugs and alcohol so each birthday celebrated at The Hope Center is not just a celebration of another year but also a victory celebration!
This month we were able to celebrate with Reggie & Justin! Reggie has been a part of Foundations for 7 months and is doing great in his rehabilitation and life recovery. Justin just joined the program – in fact he’s so new that the cake was delivered just before he enrolled. But we’re still excited to celebrate Justin’s birthday along with Reggie’s.
Join us in wishing Reggie & Justin a very ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY’!
Foundations Life Recovery program is our 13-month residential rehabilitation program for men battling addiction. The guys in the program attend various classes and participate in a work program at The Hope Center. The goal of Foundations is to help these guys create a new life centered on Christ so that each day is a day of victory and success against the temptations and struggles of this world. The encouragement of our staff and community really help these men to continue walking a path to life recovery which is not an easy thing to do.
Thank you for supporting our ministry by donating financially, volunteering, shopping at our Thrift Stores, donating food products and your gently used items for our Donation Center, and, most importantly, thank you for praying constantly for our men, staff and volunteers. There are thousands of people whose lives have been changed because of each of you! Thank you!!
I love a good story. I mean, we all do, right? Stories entertain us. They ignite our imagination or pull at our heart strings. They encourage us or motivate us. They teach us lessons or bring the past to life. We all love a good tale as old as time. The excitement of that ‘once upon a time’ and the contentment of ‘happily ever after’.
A good story is what we all need now. It’s what we’re all longing for. An escape from the reality of this pandemic. A way to shelter ourselves from the death and fear surrounding us. A story to put our mind and heart at ease and remind us that things will be ok again.
As a kid in church I loved when my Sunday School teacher would use the felt board to tell Bible stories. I secretly always wanted to own one so I could tell the stories myself. Those visuals helped to bring those stories to life and live inside our minds.
But also as a child in church there was another medium used to tell stories: songs. We all remember Father Abraham and Deep and Wide. Classics in Sunday Schools across the country. But for me, there was one song as a kid that I’ve always loved. I can’t sing it for you as you read this but I’m sure you’re familiar with it too and your brain will instantly jump right back into this song and you might even bust out loud singing. It goes like this:
“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.”
What a story! So powerful, so encouraging, so timely. And that’s another thing about a successful story — timing.
We tell stories to help in situations. A story isn’t only as good as its content or subject matter but as when the story is told and how it will change the person or group who hears the story.
And that’s what makes this all so significant. In the darkest time of this pandemic comes Easter. The most powerful, life-altering, history changing, good vs evil story known to humankind. Easter! In our most challenging days arrives the most encouraging story.
It’s got darkness and despair. A world falling apart and desperate for help. It’s got loneliness and heartache. Bad decisions and bad motives. It’s got fear and death. And it’s got an ending to end all stories.
This timing didn’t surprise God. It’s a message for us. It’s a reminder that He is still here even when we feel so isolated and scared. It’s His story of hope. It’s His story of victory. It’s His story of love. And it’s His story of our ‘happily ever after’.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed with the news and images we see and hear constantly. It’s easy to be unnerved by closed businesses and empty parks. It’s understandable to feel alone. Imagine the disciples and family watching as Jesus was paraded down the road broken, humiliated, carrying His cross. Imagine as they watched Him hang on that cross desperate for air. Imagine as they watched Him breathe His last breath. Imagine the fear they felt as the stone was rolled in front of that tomb.
I imagine that you, like the rest of us, are experiencing the same types of feelings now.
In fact this morning was especially hard on me. There’s only so much of the darkness and evil in the world that I can take before the feeling of hopelessness takes over. But in that minute when my desperate heart cried out to God to intervene He put a song on my lips. “I heard an old, old story…”
Victory in Jesus! If that isn’t the ‘happily ever after’ the world needs now then I don’t know what else to say. In the darkest point in our lives, is a holiday celebrating the most powerful and victorious story ever told!
God knows our fear and our pain — He’s gone through it. God knows our loneliness — He’s been there. God knows our heartache as loved ones die — He’s experienced it. And God knows the hope of victory — because He’s already won it.
Sure, this Easter is gonna be strange and different for us but in no way is COVID-19 changing the message of hope. In no way is the virus rewriting the ending of the story. In no way does the fallen world win.
There’s victory in Jesus! And now more than ever the world needs to hear this story…now. This is the story of life. The story of victory. The story of HOPE.
May you and your family have a safe and HAPPY EASTER!