A drive through Houston’s inner city reveals a world very different from that in which most Houston suburbanites live. Five out of ten families are single-parent households. Four out of ten households live at or below the poverty line. In the predominantly African-American neighborhoods nearly one in four boys will not complete high school. While there are a lot of Christians who want to serve in urban Houston, most are not sure where to start or how to be effective.
Hope House is a 1.5 acre campus in Houston’s 5th Ward/Kashmere Gardens urban neighborhood. Thirteen small houses exist on this property. Nine houses are in usable condition and four are awaiting restoration. The long term goals of Dave Dozier and the Faithwalking missional community at Hope House are to use the property in a residential ministry to transform the lives of ex-offenders and those in recovery, and for Hope House to bring transformation to the surrounding neighborhood.
There are three phases to our Hope House strategy:
Phase One- Make Hope House a sustainable non-profit entity. This involves:
- Fully restoring the Hope House campus to provide a secure, drug-free, alcohol-free environment for residents who are in recovery/or on a fixed income
- Mentoring the residents of Hope House in life skills (household budgeting, job search, anger management, communication skills, etc.)
- Providing social and spiritual services to the residents of Hope House
- Raising supplementary donations to maintain affordable housing and services
- Begin developing relationships within the community
Phase Two- Continue to expand our sphere of relationships in the neighborhood, thus bringing residents of the neighborhood into our Faithwalkng missional community. This will involve:
- Building relationships with the indigenous residents of the neighborhood
- Intentional, missional outreach into the community
- Coordinating volunteers and assets from both those who live outside and within the neighborhood to meet needs identified and supported by neighborhood residents
- As Hope House residents grow spiritually, emotionally, and economically able, they will be encouraged to move out of Hope House and into the immediate community, thus continuing to be salt and light in the neighborhood
Phase Three- Having become a partner in the neighborhood and allowing members of that neighborhood to take ownership and leadership, the Hope House Faithwalking missional community will assist the residents in that community in restoring Kingdom living to the neighborhood.
How this will unfold is uncertain, but it may involve ministries such as:
- Addressing needs in the local schools (mentoring, tutoring, etc.)
- Providing assistance to residents of the neighborhood in areas such as completing their education; vocational training, business start-ups, and first-time home purchases
- Planting churches that are both culturally relevant and missional in nature.
We are currently transitioning from phase one to phase two. We are seeing lives transformed, both in the Hope House residents and the families who live in the neighborhood. Long-term residents of the neighborhood are excited about the visible changes on their streets. We still have a long way to go and are inviting Faithwalking partners to journey with us. Opportunities exist to serve in a variety of ways, from interacting with residents of the Hope House neighborhood to behind-the-scenes administrative duties. To get involved or for more information, contact Dave Dozier.