Mission of Hope
Homeless shelter celebrates first year
By John Faucher
Volunteers, community members, business leaders and officials gathered at the Mission of Hope House Monday, Feb. 10 to celebrate the center’s one year anniversary.
Mission of Hope House of New London is a secure 24/7 homeless shelter located at 520 N. Shawano St.
The 21-bed facility is more than a shelter.
Mission of Hope House is a grassroots network of people and community partners advocating for the homeless.
Lori Prahl, Mission of Hope ambassador and co-founder said, “There is not a single cause for homelessness. Often by no fault of their own, our neighbors can find themselves on the verge of or in homelessness.”
Prahl said the idea of helping individuals and families in need nourishes everyone’s soul.
“Restoring home through community connections is core to the Mission of Hope House,” said Prahl.
In addition to providing temporary housing, Mission of Hope House lifts people up by promoting self-sufficiency and offering life skills training as well as referral services to the clients it serves.
By the numbers
Since opening its doors in February 2019, Mission of Hope House has given out 418 referrals to 468 individuals and 82 families seeking shelter.
The Mission has provided shelter to 33 children, 17 families and 80 individuals in its first year.
Prahl said the average length of stay was 51 days.
She said the numbers did not include the many individuals and families served through the Meet the Need Program.
“There are many hands and hearts that led to this one-year anniversary,” said Prahl.
“We would not be celebrating if not for the contributions of staff, volunteers, board members and all of our supporters.”
She said it’s been a rewarding experience to watch clients achieve personal goals, and to see a void being filled when a volunteer steps out for the first time to make that “organic connection.”
“It is the catalytic effect of touching and connecting with another human being on a deeper level. What has inspired me is my relationship with God,” said Prahl. “He has moved, influenced and guided me in the vision for founding the Mission of Hope House.”
She said seeing hurting people and depravity within our rural community initially stirred her vision. That was followed by her personal response out of obedience and a conviction which led her on a journey.
Chrissy Becker Executive Director of the Mission of Hope House said it inspires her daily to see clients setting individual goals and working hard at achieving them.
Becker has served the Mission of Hope House since November 2019. She became executive director Feb. 3, 2020.
She works closely with clients daily to assist them in their personal growth and goal of becoming self sufficient.
Mission of Hope offers classes on basic household finances, job skills training, forming healthy relationships and tips for finding affordable housing.
They also help clients with educational needs, obtaining valid driver’s license, job searches and links to other supportive resources.
Becker said she appreciates the heartfelt staff and board of directors that she works with at the Mission of Hope House.
“Their dedication to our vision and mission makes going to work a pleasure,” said Becker.
Within the last year Prahl said The Mission of Hope House extended its community outreach by creating a new brochure, developing a new web site and started a quarterly newsletter.
“We are excited about expanding our programming and we are in our next phase of seeking further collaborative partnerships,” said Prahl.
Mission of Hope House is a non-profit organization governed by a board of directors. They welcome volunteers, in-kind and monetary donations. For more information contact the Mission of Hope House at 920-249-4553.