Dressed for Success

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

Happy, Happy Birthday!!

Join us in wishing Dustin & Albert HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Dustin celebrated his birthday in July and Albert just celebrated his this week. Both men are in our Foundations Life Recovery Program. Each month we celebrate the birthdays of the men in our residential program – and of course we have cake! Our good friend Stormy bakes birthday cakes each month for our residents!

Dustin joined our Foundations program in January of this year. While here he made a profession of Christ in his life and is seeking to make positive changes in his life that will help him once he leaves the program. He is about halfway through the Foundations program so please continue to pray for him in his journey as he grows and faces the challenge of confronting the various things that have caused problems in his life.

Albert joined Foundations in September of 2017 after being released into our facility from prison. While in prison he made a profession of Christ which is what lead him to apply to our Foundations program at his release. He wanted a safe, Christian environment to help him grow and change his life patterns and to be in a place where he can build a positive bridge into his future. He quickly joined a local church in Hagerstown and has continued to grow spiritually which has helped him develop great relationships with others. He is very close to graduating from Foundations so continue to keep praying for Albert that he finishes strong and has the confidence to go boldly into his new life without fear. He’s excited about his opportunity to share his new life with others in the community who need to hear about the power of Christ just like he did.

Please continue to pray for all of the men who come in and out of our Foundations Life Recovery Program. It’s not easy for guys to acknowledge that they need to join the program and make necessary changes in their lives and it’s even harder for them to continue once they join. These men are facing serious challenges in their lives and they need all the prayer and support possible. Please continue to invest in their lives through prayer, volunteering, and donating to The Hope Center. Your donation of food, used clothing, shoes, housewares, furniture, etc, and your donation of time serving food, hosting a chapel service, painting or doing anything at The Hope Center are all part of helping these men rehabilitate their lives and giving them the recovery and victory they so desperately want and need. Your support truly does make a difference and God uses it to help them move forward in the face of personal issues. Thank you for helping us celebrate these men and their birthdays.

To learn more about volunteering or donating to The Hope Center or for more information about our Foundations Life Recovery Program for men please visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com or call 301.739.1165.

Thank You, Eaton of Williamsport!!

Recently the awesome employees at Eaton in Williamsport had a community drive to collect various items for our residents and guests. DSC_0741

They collected things like socks, washcloths, food, toothpaste, brushes, and other personal care items.

We want to send out a huge THANK YOU to the employees at Eaton, and especially, Jamie, Judy, and Bea who organized the donation drive and also Maddi for reaching out to us.

DSC_0734We are so thankful for this much needed donation to The Hope Center! While food donations are important and much needed, we also often need things like personal care items, medicines, pillows, towels, washcloths and the such. With the men who are residents in our 13-month program, Foundations Life Recovery, as well as the hundreds of transient/homeless who seek shelter every night of the year, we go through a lot of personal care items. And we also gladly hand out personal care items to people in the community who are in need. So receiving these items is such a huge blessing to our program.

Thank you again to everyone at Eaton in Williamsport who was a part of this donation drive!

If you, your place of employment, civic club, church, scout troop, or another organization want to host a food or personal care drive like Eaton then please contact us. We feed thousands of people each year and give out personal care items just as often to anyone in our community in need. These donations help us keep our costs down so we can continue to provide all services free of charge for all guests and residents – especially since we take no government funding or tax money. A tub of toothpaste, a pair of socks, and a jar of peanut butter may not seem like much but they can make the difference in the lives of a needy neighbor more than you will ever know.

To learn more visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com. To talk to someone about donating please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net

 

Students Use Music to Inspire Hope

Hopeful Hearts (2)On Saturday, October 21st, some very talented young people took the stage at Bridge of Life Church in downtown Hagerstown for a special fundraiser to benefit The Hope Center.

These young people are all members of Youth For Christ at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts located downtown. Organized by the students in the club, this fundraiser, a first for the group, was designed to use their musical gifts and talents to entertain and inspire the audience while also raising money to help meet the needs of people in the community. Performing various songs like Go Light Your World, Heart of Worship, and It Is Well, the vocalists and instrumentalists put on a beautiful show celebrating the hope and power of our incredible God.

For the finale of the show, our residents, who are a part of our Foundations Life DSC_0075 (2)Recovery program, joined the students on stage to perform Victory in Jesus. What a touching moment to see so many people performing together in different stages of life singing about the victory they’ve each experienced through their relationship with Christ. This is exactly what hope is all about and it was a beautiful reminder that evening.

Following the concert, refreshments were served and the audience could mix and mingle with the students who performed in the show.

We want to thank the students in the Youth For Christ Club at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts for putting together such a wonderful evening of music and hope. These young people have been given a true gift from God and it’s so exciting to see them use their talents to help others. We are so appreciative of their heart to help others and so humbled that we were able to be a part of this event. Thank you to each of these incredible students and to everyone who helped them put on such a wonderful show!

To learn more about all the various programs, services and outreach ministries to our community at The Hope Center please visit http://www.hagerstownhopecenter.com.

Happy Fathers Day!

Celebrating our parents or being celebrated as a parent is a special thing. God gave us the miracle to bring life into the world and the huge responsibility of raising those lives.

Unfortunately sin has a way of damaging and destroying lives which often results in so many broken relationships. But throughout all of our failures and familial problems, God has the opportunity to change lives and bring people back together.

At The Hope Center, Father’s Day is a day of many feelings: sadness, fondness, thankfulness, regret, and hope. Many of the guys who are in our Foundations Life Recovery program and those who’ve been a part of it in the past have had to deal with broken relationships with their parents and even estrangement from their own children.

By the time most of the guys who come to The Hope Center to break their addictions and deadly habits they have already lost everything: their homes, their jobs, and unfortunately, their families. Some of the guys who come are fathers themselves and have lost all contact with their children. Other guys who come have been abandoned by their own fathers and left with a void in their lives. Others have fathers who care so deeply for their sons and hurt as they watch them destroy themselves.

But the purpose of Foundations, the 13-month life rehabilitation program at The Hope Center, is to help these men start a relationship with God and allow Him to create a new man out of the old.

The men who are a part of our program are not just working to break the addictions that have caused so many issues, they’re also striving towards the goal of reconciling with their families and being the father, husband and son God created them to be.

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From L-R: Sonny Shank (Executive Director), Wade, Dominic, Darrell, Justin, Howard and Louis

We talked to a few of our residents about their relationships with their fathers, and for those who are fathers themselves, about their relationships with their own children. Here’s what they had to say:

WADE

Wade joined Foundations in January of this year. He is the father of three daughters and grandfather to seven. For two years, Wade did not have any relationships with his daughters and he, himself, has no relationship with his father. At one point, Wade found himself in a depression that was so deep he became suicidal. One of his daughters, who lives in Maryland, bought him a one-way ticket to Hagerstown and he enrolled in Foundations at the beginning of the year.

Since coming to The Hope Center Wade said his depression is gone, his health is being restored and he has reconnected with his family and now has a good relationship with his daughters. At 54 years old, he feels healthier and more energetic and is able to focus his attention on his relationship with his daughters.

DOMINIC

Dominic is brand new to Foundations, having enrolled at the beginning of June. He is the father of a daughter in Carroll County and has one granddaughter. When talking about Father’s Day, Dominic recalls that he never really had a good relationship with his father who is now passed away.

Dominic came to The Hope Center because he knew he was making poor choices and wanted to get his life right with God. His hope this Father’s Day is to learn and grow so that he can be a better example to his daughter so that she will have a desire to honor him as her father.

DARRELL

Darrell joined Foundations in October of 2016. For Darrell, Father’s Day is a day of celebration and also mourning as he lost both his grandfather and father at an early age in life. His grandfather died when he was seven and then only three years later his father died when he was ten. For a young boy to lose two role models in his life wasn’t easy.

This Father’s Day it’s his desire that through all he’s learning and how he’s growing spiritually in the Foundations program that he will be the man God wants him to be to honor his late father and grandfather.

LOUIS

Louis is in the final stages of his time in our Foundations Life Recovery program. Having enrolled in May of 2016, Louis is a gold level resident and is quickly approaching completion and graduation from the program!

For Louis, Father’s Day as a kid wasn’t ideal because he had a broken relationship with his father because his mother would not allow his dad any visitation. In fact, he didn’t really know much about his dad until he was 12 or 13 years old. At the age of 16, his father was awarded custody of him because he was being physically abused by his mother.

Since then, he and his dad have built a good relationship and he’s learned a lot from his father. His dad is currently 72 years old and is recovering from a stroke but is very happy and thankful that Louis is enrolled in the Foundations program at The Hope Center.

JUSTIN

Justin enrolled in Foundations in mid-April. While his father is still a part of his life he says that he has a broken relationship with him. His father, who doesn’t know the Lord, is dealing with addictions too. Justin says, “I don’t blame my father for my addiction. My choices are my own.” And while Justin is working hard to conquer his addictions and clean up his life, he’s also hopeful that in the process he can rebuild his relationship with his dad.

Since being at The Hope Center, Justin believes that there is hope that God can bring reconciliation to his relationship with his dad because of his own relationship with God.

HOWARD

Howard is a 2013 graduate of Foundations and is now an employee at our Hagerstown Thrift Store.

Thinking back on his life, Howard recalls that his “second” father adopted him when he was 15 years old. But as he got older they went their separate ways for several years. It wasn’t until he enrolled in Foundations in 2012 that he reunited with his father.

While in the 13-month program, his father asked him to come live with him. But Howard, understanding the value of the program and having a deep desire to complete it, told him that he would stay and finish at The Hope Center instead.

Since graduating, Howard has a very close relationship with his dad. They work together in their church, and they are working together to help homeless people. Howard says, “I love my dad and I thank God that we have an excellent relationship.”

This Fathers Day we celebrate the men who were men by acknowledging their addictions and entered our program to start a life lasting change. Please join us in celebrating these guys as they fight the good fight to be the incredible men God already sees.

Continue to pray for the men who are currently enrolled, have graduated or moved on, and for those who will come in the future seeking victory and reconciliation. Your support in all ways has helped to bring these men to Christ, conquered their addictions and restored their families. Thank you for caring and sharing for each precious life who seeks help at The Hope Center

Nurses Bring Hope to the Community

As we all know, nurses are caring individuals. They help make visiting the doctor, preparing for medical procedures, and overnights at the hospital a little less frightening.
Recently, some area nurses showed us just how loving & caring they truly are.
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 On June 19th, some nurses from Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown visited The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission. Our visitors are registered nurses working on their BSN degree.
They are all students in a class about community support agencies and their professor, Barbara Friend, R.N., PhDc from Notre Dame of Maryland University, recommended they visit The Hope Center and learn about the various community outreach programs that take place at our facility.
The students were given a tour by Executive Director Sonny Shank, who took them all over our facilities and spent some time with the nurses going over all the programs and services we offer free to the community.
For a majority of the nurses, this was their very first time seeing and learning about the many things The Hope Center does in the community. Our new friends left the tour with a better understanding of The Hope Center and the constant work we do reaching the community.
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 As a result of their visit, the nurses organized a food drive and also requested cash donations from co-workers at Meritus.
In early July they presented The Hope Center with 750 pounds of non-perishable food and a very generous cash gift.
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We are so thankful for these wonderful nurses who, not only help to care for us and our community at their offices, but also want to help feed and care for those in our community who are struggling in other ways.
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Their food and financial donations will help to reach hundreds of thousands of people, including children, families, men addicted to various substances, the hungry and homeless.
It’s a great feeling to know that we have a nursing and medical staff in our area who truly care about helping others.
Thank you Barbara Friend, nurses, and the rest of the staff at Meritus who donated much needed resources for us to continue to provide many basic needs for free to our community.

Bowling Does Our Residents Good!

When a guy enters our Hope Center Life Recovery program, he’s making a commitment to getting his life back on track and becoming the man God designed him to be.

But it’s not an easy path for many of our residents. They struggle with many things including their addictions, their past, family and work issues and, often times, the lack of love and acceptance.

Once they join the program they begin to build relationships with other guys in the program and our staff. This bond is a very important part of their rehabilitation. When the men aren’t working or attending life recovery classes, they enjoy playing sports and hanging out in the McKinley Rec Center at The Hope Center.

Our staff knows the importance of leisure activities so they plan various outings during the year. From softball tournaments, to fishing, canoeing, picnics and other activities, our staff tries to build relationships with our guys to keep them pushing through the program.

Recently, our staff took the guys bowling. From the laid back atmosphere to the friendly competition, our guys really enjoyed bowling together!

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Here are some pics from the guys’ day at the bowling alley. While going to the bowling alley may just seem like a regular activity to most people, to our guys this is a very important part of rebuilding themselves. These outings are beneficial to their recovery in so many ways.

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DSC_1259DSC_1274DSC_1276DSC_1300-001When you donate, whether financially or through in-kind gifts, you are helping to provide our residents with these types of activities. Thank you for your continued support of this ministry and our residents! You may never truly know how important your gift was, but God knows. You’re helping to change lives for eternity!

Happy Birthday!

The first Friday of each month is the day that we celebrate the birthdays of residents in our Foundations program.

On October 5th we celebrated 3 of our resident’s birthdays. Howard, Kevin & Mark are all celebrating their birthdays this month, but unfortunately Mark was unable to join the party due to a prior appointment.

But October is not just a month of birthday celebrations for Howard & Kevin. They both will be graduating from the men’s program on October 26th! What a fantastic way to celebrate the life that God gave them! They’ve both worked so hard to achieve this honor.

Everyone enjoyed another delicious cake that was baked by our good friend, Stormy. During the birthday celebration, Howard and Kevin gave their testimony to the staff and other residents in attendance. They both gave moving testimonies about how God has changed their lives since coming to The Hope Center. Kevin even said that he is proof that “this program works.”

Please join us in wishing these 3 gentlemen a very happy birthday! And continue to pray for them and all the other guys who seek refuge and change at The Hope Center. It’s not an easy thing to do, but God is clearly at work in the lives of these men in our program!

Voices of Hope

Back in 1955, God called and a family answered. That family was Jim and Ellen Resh along with their five young children. And the calling was to start a rescue mission in Hagerstown.

A rare view of the dining hall at the first building on Jail Alley

So in 1955, Jim & Ellen moved their family from rural Cascade into Hagerstown’s downtown. The first Hagerstown Rescue Mission began in an old dance hall located on Jail Alley. When the Mission started it was designed to be an outreach to the many homeless, and quite often, drunk men who wandered the streets of Hagerstown.

Now 57 years later, the name has changed and the location is different, but the same goal exists from the first day of our founding. We are here to help those in need. Whether we help men addicted to drugs or alcohol, families in need of clothing or house wares, people in need of food or homeless men looking for a good night’s rest.

The Hope Center is here to help the “least, the last and the lost”. You might be familiar with some of the ministries that we have. You might have even helped a time or two in some way. But we don’t always give you the opportunity to hear from the men who live at the Hope Center.

These men have come to the Hope Center from many different walks of life but each one is searching for the same thing- hope. Hope to beat their addiction. Hope to restore their family. Hope to have a job again. Hope to change their life – and their eternity.

At the Hope Center we provide the only true hope- Jesus. Some of our residents have been raised in Christian homes or have been exposed to Christ at some point in their past. Others are new to Christ. It’s important to teach that man can’t provide hope. Hope is only found in Christ.

So we asked our residents one simple question. Below is the question followed by a few of our residents’ responses.

How has the Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission been able to give you hope?

“I have a place to stay, good people, great staff, and most of all, I have a wonderful Savior named Jesus in my life again. I owe Him my life, and I don’t want to forsake Him ever again. Thank you for everything.”

-James

“When you start to apply the Word of God to your life, all hope starts to come alive. Just to know that God loves you, and gave His only Son to die for you, it gives hope! To see how God works in all the men’s lives at the Hope Center gives you hope. God is all about love and hope!”

-Earl

“Before I answer this question I would like to thank God for bringing me here to the Hope Center to discover not with my physical eyes the beauty of His grace but He electrified my mind with His spirit instead. And the joy that I receive from His spirit cannot be better. So, does the Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission give hope? Yes it does. And the result is unquestionable and indisputable in any language. Today and now I can go anywhere in the world and with other nations the teaching that receive here from you and from your staff. You help understand that the God we serve, the God we pray and worship everyday is really an almighty God. God bless you all.”

-Roosevelt

“Through our gracious God, the Hope Center has helped me start a firm, positive & everlasting foundation, based on Jesus, the rock. The Hope Center has also given me hope by teaching me that by following the Word I can build a strong, permanent relationship with the Lord. And I can do all things through Him (Phil 4:13)”

-Ryan

Please continue to pray for these men and the many other men who will come to the Hope Center looking for a place to sleep or a life-changing program to help them beat their addictions.

Congratulations Graduates!

On Wednesday, March 7th, the Hope Center held a spring graduation for two residents graduating from our Foundations program.

In order to graduate, the residents must accomplish various levels of achievement during their 13 months in the program.

We are so proud of our two graduates, Charles Mercier and Jose Obregon.

Charles and Jose may have lived two separate lives but both of them were on the same path. And fortunately for them, that path eventually led them to the Hope Center.

Charles, from Severna Park, had all but given up on himself…and life. He was living “a miserable life”. He had lost his house, his youngest son and the overall desire to care about his own well-being.

Charles really wasn’t too excited about coming to the Hope Center. Like most people, he wanted to stay closer to his family & friends. But God knew that Charles desperately needed a change. God knew the potential that Charles had and He wanted Charles to change.

Even after Charles enrolled in the program, he still had the desire to leave but he said that there was a small voice that kept telling him to “just sit, sit still for a while”.

Jose, originally from Puerto Rico, was living a life totally out of control. By age of 17 Jose had experience a life that most people couldn’t imagine.

Jose had dropped out of school, began drinking, and became totally rebellious. Finally feeling that life was pointless, Jose prayed to God for help.

Just a few weeks after, a friend invited Jose to church. It was there that he heard the Gospel and accepted Christ into his life.

But Jose’s life wasn’t improving and he fell into sin. He then made a move to the Bethesda Mission in Harrisburg, PA. He went through the program and graduated but still felt that he needed a new direction. After having trouble finding a job, the assistant director of the men’s program at Bethesda recommended that Jose try the program at the Hope Center.

Once Jose arrived and began the program, he finally felt at peace and had total relief knowing that this is where God wanted him.

We’d like to say congratulations to both of these men for persevering and achieving success in our program. Their accomplishment was celebrated at our graduation. Hope Center staff and residents, along with some members of the Board of Directors, family and local pastors and friends attend. Our graduation service is always open to anyone who would like to attend. The men are given the chance to share their testimony and give encouragement to the other residents still working through the program.

Following the ceremony, everyone is invited into the Hope Center dining area for a reception. This gives the graduates a chance to celebrate with everyone.

Please pray for Charles and Jose as they begin the process of readjusting into society, as new men. And remember to pray for the many men who come to the Hope Center seeking real change. These men have made the first, sometimes hardest, step by acknowledging that they desperately need help. Pray for their strength and focus to battle their addictions and give Christ the victory.

We’ve always said that the Hope Center isn’t here to put a new suit on the man but rather to put a new man in the suit. Thanks to your support, whether it be financial, prayer or in-kind gifts, we are able to help change lives, rebuild families and restore hope!

“For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord.  Therefore whether we live or die we are the Lord’s.”  Romans 14:8