Mission of Hope
Meeting the needs of New London’s homeless
By Robert Cloud
Mission of Hope House has a two-pronged approach to helping those who are homeless.
The organization offers immediate assistance to those who need shelter and food.
The New London homeless shelter is open 24 hours a day year-round and accepts families and single adults.
There are 21 beds in the shelter.
MOHH also provides clothing through its thrift store and hygiene produces.
The organization’s long-term mission is to provide the personal and social skills necessary to help individuals and families move out of poverty.
For example, instead of preparing meals for its residents, MOHH teaches them how to cook and go grocery shopping.
It also offers monthly personal finance classes and works one-on-one with people on how to fix their credit.
“We have a course called Rent Smart that teaches you how to budget so you’re getting a place you can afford,” said Andy Wilson, MOHH executive director.
Wilson explained Mission of Hope’s Rule of 20.
“You have to engage in meaningful and productive activity at least 20 hours per week,” Wilson said.
He said residents have to be looking for work, volunteering in the community, reading a book, doing something for mental stimulation.
“Employment can be applied toward that time total,” Wilson said, noting that MOHH seeks to help people become productive members of the community.
Mission of Hope sees education as a way out of homelessness and as a preventive measure against the problem.
The organization also wants to educate the community about homelessness.
“We’re not bringing poverty into the community, we’re trying to fight the poverty,” Wilson said. “Many factors are at play as to why people are sleeping in a car or couch surfing.”
Wilson said MOHH works with county social services, New London city government and various agencies to keep people housed.
Meet the Need
MOHH’s Meet the Need program provides furniture, bedding, winter clothing, hygiene supplies, transportation and referrals to social services and job openings.
“Meet the Need is not necessarily for people who live at our facility, but for anyone who has needs,” Wilson said.
So far in 2021, Meet the Need has helped 272 people and distributed nearly 4,000 items.
A key component to MOHH’S program, the Bridge Thrift Store at 1931 N. Shawano St. serves as a resource for Meet the Need items, as well as helping fund the homeless shelter.
The resale store offers furniture, household items and clothing.
MOHH clients also have an opportunity to learn hands-on work skills at the Bridge Thrift Store.
Donations and volunteers are in constant demand at MOHH.
For more information, call 920-249-4553, visit www.missionofhopehouse.org or email [email protected]