What is the House of Hope?
The House of Hope is a Christian based organization under the direction of Christian Community Development. It is a two year transitional housing program for homeless, single mothers and their children. The mothers are generally between the ages of 18 and 25 and the children are usually newborn to 8 years old. Those who apply to the program live well below the poverty level.
During the transition time, women receive support, guidance and assistance with employment, education and life skills. Safe housing, food, clothing, one-on-one counseling, community referrals and assistance in locating appropriate childcare is also provided for the women. Women are required to work and/or attend school full-time. They are also required to attend in-house groups and meet weekly with a case manager. With two years of support, guidance and stability, women are ready to make the needed changes in their lives and become self-sufficient individuals.
The House of Hope consists of two houses in which these young families reside. The house at 222 Walnut Street in Waterloo has seven apartments and has been in operation since 1995. The house at 306-308 Walnut Street has three apartments and opened its doors in 2001.
Why is the House of Hope so Important?
Currently, both houses are full with ten mothers and seventeen children. There is a waiting list of sixty-nine homeless, single mothers and their children. Statistics have shown that nearly two-thirds of all single mothers with children up to four years old live below poverty level in Iowa. This number is greater in Iowa than in the nation as a whole. The House of Hope program provides a solution for this problem.
Who Governs the House of Hope?
The House of Hope is affiliated with Christian Community Development which is an interdenominational, non-profit organization whose purpose is to identify and meet the social needs of the Waterloo/Cedar Falls urban community. The CCD Board is represented by a diverse group of individuals representing many churches and professions in the metropolitan area.