Homes of Hope is a faith-based community development organization based in Greenville, SC that is dedicated to building and providing safe, affordable homes to low-income individuals and families. Homes of Hope also offers a one-year residential program that provides specialized construction job training for men struggling with addiction.
Recently I had the privilege to sit down with David Peebles, Resource Development Director for Homes of Hope, to truly understand the dual operations model of this stellar organization. While talking to David, I was captivated by two Homes of Hope client stories. Both provide real life illustrations of the day-to-day operations of the nonprofit, the empowerment of the job training programs, and the Hope that is born from having a place to call Home.
At 21 Michael had a history of drug abuse and criminal activity. He was the father of a young child and decided he needed to turn his life around, not only for himself but also for his son. Michael entered a rehabilitation facility and completed a seven-month rehab program before transitioning to Homes of Hope. He concentrated on learning how to become an electrician and helped build several LoCAL homes. He completed nearly 200 classroom hours and 180 days of on-the-job training. Today, Michael is gainfully employed as an electrician, is a responsible father, and is an outstanding example to other men who come to Homes of Hope in search of a second chance.
Ten-year-old Rebecca’s family was homeless before they became involved with Homes of Hope’s Affordable Housing Programs. She was asked: What does her home mean to her? She said, “Home is where you share your feelings. You don’t have to hide your thoughts or shame. Home is where you dream. Home is the safest place on earth, where your heart soars for life; where you can be grateful. Home is the most important thing you will ever need.”
David also showed me the Gideon's House, a historical house in West Greenville. This two-story house has been completely restored by the Homes of Hope clients who reside there. Nine men, all in long-term recovery, are committed to receiving on-the-job training with various general contracting companies. For a one-year period, these men empower each other to learn and enhance their electrical and construction skills in hopes that their job training will help secure them a well-paying career in the community. In the past 17 years, Homes of Hope has graduated nearly 300 men.
The success of Homes of Hope is vividly apparent. As I drive down major thoroughfares leading into downtown Greenville, I see the vitality of single family homes in new neighborhoods that were once full of run-down houses and crime-stricken streets and sidewalks. Mayor Knox White attributes the success of HoH to the collaboration of community partners. He said, "Homes of Hope is amazing! They are a full partner with the City of Greenville in providing affordable housing. They combine compassion with extraordinary commitment and creativity to get the job done. Homes of Hope is a model for how collaboration makes all the difference."
To learn more about Homes of Hope and how you can help rebuild communities and rebuild lives, please visit www.homesofhope.org.