Ask someone what Star of Hope does and one of first things they may tell you is “Star of Hope is a soup kitchen.” Star of Hope serves 3 meals a day, 365 days a year at 3 different Houston area locations. We serve meals, but Star of Hope has always been so much more than a soup kitchen.
Today, you can help us provide hot, nutritious meals for the men, women and families who come to Star of Hope for help. Each meal only costs $1.80!
Give a single meal, feed a homeless person for day, week or month. Then explore sohmission.org to get a taste of all of life-giving and life-changing programs and services offered at Star of Hope.
I find this story extremly moving for several reasons. One being that many of Yellowstone Acadamy kids have lived at Star of Hope before or are currently living here. Another, staggering fact is that 87% of Yellowstone Acadmey kids are currently living in poverty or extreme poverty. In fact the average family income is $8,088.
The final number that strikes me is in total $178.98 was given to Star of Hope from Yellowstone Acadmey kids, which is about 2.2% total of a Yellowstone Academy's average family YEARLY income.
That makes me ask myself does at least 2% of my yearly income go to helping Houston's homeless? A group of 8th graders gave and about 95 people will be able to eat a hot meal in our soup kitchen this Christmas.
Stories like these always remind me of this passage:
The Message (MSG)
41-44Sitting across from the offering box, he was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came up and put in two small coins—a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, "The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they'll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn't afford—she gave her all."
Remember this Christmas Season isn't about how much you give it is about the heart of the giver. Give joyfully, give faithfully and you will give well.
Want to give well this Christmas? Feed Houston's homeless!
Even in the early days, Star of Hope has always been more than a soup kitchen and place to sleep. I’m honored to be a part of such an enduring legacy. I’m thankful for Star of Hope’s incredible staff, faithful volunteers and generous donors who continue to make a Star of Hope a place of refuge and recovery in our city.
To learn more, visit More Than A Soup Kitchen Houston. You may be surprised at the depth of the programs offered at Star of Hope Mission.
Even business like, Chick-fil-A Pearland, have decided they were called to be HOPE and therefore, hosted a toiletry donation drive. Cookie Joe, the owner of Cookie Joe's Dance Studio, also felt called to be HOPE, so at the donation drive she sponsored a free concert from Newberry of Second Baptist Pearland, Krush of New Hope, and Nash 3.
Many people this Summer have been HOPE. At Star of Hope I am able to see how many people answered the call to action and have actively been HOPE this summer. It has made me want to know more....like how are you HOPE...where-ever you are? Please e-mail your I AM HOPE story to firstname.lastname@example.org (feel free to send videos) or just post it on the comments below!
For more way to give, go to Star of Hope Mission - Supporting Houston Homeless Shelters
Star of Hope can’t save the world, but it can give Houston’s Homeless men, women and children some healthy consistencies no matter what stage of life they are in. Most importantly Star of Hope teaches its clients they are valued and after their time here how to create stability making hope a reality.
Last week I had the privilege to talk with an amazing Star of Hope Virtual Volunteer. Her spirit is as beautiful and unique as she is. She is vulnerable. She is strong. She is courageous. Zan grew up in an inconsistent home environment living with several different family members during varying stages of her life. At age 17 she found herself homeless with a new born son. Desiring more consistency for her son than she was able to give she sent him to live with other members of her family.
Zan personally continued wandering in and out of homelessness into her 20’s. I wish I could tell you that she found Star of Hope early on and everything changed…forever. I wish I could tell you that we made a difference in her life or that I made a difference in her life. However, nothing I did nor did anything I am affiliated with change Zan’s life. Zan did not find Star of Hope when she needed us most. She had to seek self soothing and self guidance and in turn her life lessons were learned by trial and error. Zan did the best she could to establish consistency in her life all by herself.
Today, Zan’s life like mine is far from perfect, but you can clearly see God’s redemptive love in her story. Through, this faith and courage God has taught her to give back to her community in whatever way she can. Zan lovingly shares with others via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn that they do not have to go through homelessness, abuse, addiction all alone. They can find value and love at Star of Hope. Zan advocates for Star of Hope… all hours of the day and night…and she makes a difference by sharing what an amazing nonprofit Houston has! Zan knows how helpful it would have been to have had a solid place like “ Star of Hope Mission” included in her story early on.
Zan , thank you for giving hope to others.
So, many people think they have to wait until their life looks perfect to give back to their community. They wait until they have the right amount in their savings account or until they have 3 hours to give instead of 15 minutes. Star of Hope is asking you where you are to make a difference and together we will watch God bless your offering. Whether, it is a prayer, joining Star of Hope on Facebook, working in the kitchen, donating 50 cents together, we can give Houston Homeless a consistent environment where there is no question if they are fed, loved and valued.
Together, wherever you are in life let's show Houston Homeless they do not have to do this alone. We are here for them with Men and Women Drug Rehab Centers, Battered Women Shelters, Childcare facilities and Soup Kitchens. Refuse to let one person be forgotten.
Visit Volunteer Jobs Houston to get started today!
Brenda said that answering the calls has changed her perspective on who the homeless are and what Star of Hope does. Star of hope is so much more than a soup kitchen serving meals during the holidays.
Call Center Volunteers answer calls from…
- Families looking for assistance (some who are living in their cars!)
- Donors needing to know an address to mail a check or a location to drop off clothes or other needed items
- Individuals, groups and organization wanting to know how they can serve.
Check out Elizabeth Hatler’s update Willis Volunteers Staff Call Center and So Much More! For more on what Willis employees are doing for residents at Star of Hope.
Thanks Ann, Brenda and everyone at Willis who give their time to offer help and hope to Houston’s homeless men, women and children.
Learn how you can get involved with Star of Hope Mission as a Call Center Volunteer or find another opportunity of interest to you at Community Service Volunteers Houston.
For several years our executive staff at Star of Hope, one of Houston’s Emergency Shelters, has been concerned about how we can shorten access time for homeless men, women and their families in need. So we started a phone bank! The Call Center is staffed in part by volunteers, providing a new volunteer opportunity in Houston.
This gentleman shared with me that he and the other team members were excited that serving in this volunteer role has required that they learn much more about all the services that we provide. Star of Hope is not just a soup kitchen in Houston…we offer emergency services such as a safe dry bed, a change of clothing, a warm meal, and even offer a transitional program if that is what is needed.
The major item that interested me was that he stated that the employees serving in this phone bank project have really come together, and they understand more about the needs of the homeless and what is being done here at Star of Hope! It touched my heart and reminded me that when we give something of our selves, we often receive a benefit!
I also wanted to report to you that, because many of you responded to the opportunity to make a financial donation, WE MADE OUR DECEMBER AND YTD BUDGET! I wanted to thank each of you who recognized the donation opportunity and followed through (like the volunteer mentioned above). I hope and pray that you and your family will be blessed throughout 2011!
get involved as a Call Center Volunteer.
by Hank Rush
As I reflect on 2010, my thoughts crystallize on God’s amazing blessings to THEM, through YOU. YOU have enabled the GIFT OF HOPE to be shared with THEM…the thousands of Houstonians, who in 2010 have found themselves in the unique life situation of being homeless, and have turned to Star of Hope for life-transforming help. And I am profoundly thankful, this 29th day of December 2010, for your sharing of this journey with us, as YOU help restore these precious lives.
THANK YOU SO MUCH…for your gifts, time, thoughts, and prayers! All of us at STAR OF HOPE appreciate your help and partnership in this incredible ministry of life changing hope, healing and restoration for all who come seeking it. This has been A YEAR OF MIRACLES, and 2011 promises to be also!
If you are contemplating any final year-end giving of your resources before December 31st, just click to give online and help us serve the many who will come in need of our help tomorrow at Star of Hope. Not just a "hot and cot" or a "soup kitchen," but so much more (watch the video below)…food for the mind, rest and revelation for the soul, and most importantly…the healing for the heart through this amazing ministry, Star of Hope.
We love our partnership with you, and look forward to another amazing year of ministry together in 2011!
Blessings and best wishes to you and yours for a rich and fulfilling New Year as we journey together.
by John Mills
During my eight years working for Star of Hope Mission, I have watched over and over as homeless clients move from virtually “no hope” with total dependence, to beginning their independent walk in a new life. Star of Hope is not just a Soup Kitchen in Houston! We offer Christian Ministries with such services as drug rehabilitation, emergency homeless services, parenting classes, career building classes, for homeless persons and for battered women, men and for families. We offer care for men, single women and for families at our three homeless shelters and transitional living centers.
Last week I got to meet a young woman who lived here at Star of Hope twelve years ago. When she came here, she was 4 years old, and she got into a ballet dance program offered by a volunteer. Her family got back on their feet and now she is married and has three beautiful children. She was present at the opening of our newly decorated Intake area at Star of Hope’s Women & Family Emergency Shelter. It was a real blessing to visit and to see how well she is doing now. She and her family had received a chance to get back on their feet, and they had taken it!
I hope that you weren’t ever homeless! But if you had been, wouldn’t it be great to know that there was a place, where people would listen to you, pray with you, cry with you, and try to meet your every need! Star of Hope is such a place!
Would you consider partnering with us, through offering a prayer for the less fortunate, and through making a contribution? You can go to Charitable Donations Houston to make a contribution.
Please join Star of Hope at Miller Outdoor Theatre on August 14 for a FREE screening of the Academy Award winning movie The Blind Side. You can help Houston's homeless by bringing a canned food donation to help us feed the nearly 1,000 homeless men, women and children we serve every day. We will be showing the family-friendly version of The Blind Side, so please bring your family!
For more details and information click on The Blind Side and feel free to pass it along! We hope to see you there!
Get a list of suggested food donations at More Than A Soup Kitchen Houston.
We all have our “wilderness” wanderings—much like the Israelites in the Old Testament. We have times in our lives when we have departed one place (Egypt) and are on to a new place (the Promised Land). Many who enter the Drug Rehab Centers Houston or Battered Womens Shelter Houston are doing just that--moving from one place in their lives to another. We hope and pray that there will not be a LONG wandering - 40 years - between our points of departure and arrival...but, truly, only God knows. Sandra has been "wandering" for some time now...and, I want to share a bit of her story.
I met Sandra nearly two years ago. She was a resident of our Transitional Living Center and getting ready to move out after being there for fourteen months. Sandra successfully completed the New Hope Program , Personal Development , and the WorkFaith Connection Program. Sandra had a job, money in savings and was paying her bills consistently for the first time in her life. She was ready for the next step.
Star of Hope's newest program (at the time), New Horizons, was exactly what Sandra needed. Living in her own apartment, with her children, and the supportive services the program offered, Sandra was certain she would be able to begin her new life as a sober, loving mother who wanted a brighter future.
Sandra hit the ground running! She searched for better-paying jobs and was soon rewarded for her hard work. Not too soon after moving into her new home, she got a job as a housekeeper for a local hotel. She was making a higher wage AND, even before she completed her probationary period, they targeted her for management...enrolling her into Manager Training classes. Sandra loved her work. Then...tragedy struck...
Sandra, on her way to the bus stop to go to work, was hit by a car. She was not injured badly, thank God. However, she was injured enough that she needed physical therapy and to be on "light duty." Her supervisor told her there was no "light duty" assignments...and asked her to call when she was released to return to work. But, they called her first--a month later, they called to tell her they were letting her go. They had to fill her open position. Sandra was hurt--physically from the car accident; and, now, emotionally from the loss of her job.
Thus began Sandra's "wilderness" walk. In the Bible, the Lord was with the Israelites--a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21). Sandra KNEW God was with her--because she had provision. God provided for her through the New Horizons program which was able to come alongside her for a time with HER portion of the rent; the program was able to help supplement her food pantry through Food Donation Houston; and, she gained support and encouragement from the staff and other residents in the program through prayer, cards, and hugs when needed.
Sandra's "wilderness" walk continues to this day (can you believe 15 months!!??)...she has searched and searched for jobs in Houston. She has applied in person, online and networked through several websites to find a position. She has not been idle, she has not complained (different from the children of Israel), and she has not given up!! During her time in the wilderness Sandra has accomplished the following:
*started her own cleaning business--SGH Cleaning Services (all that is left to do is obtain the bonding)
*served others by making sandwiches and cupcakes and taking them to Soup Kitchen Houston (at SEARCH Homeless Program)
*involved herself in the lives of her children (visiting their schools, attending counseling programs with them)
*attended Recovery Meetings, Bible Studies, and other meetings to offer HER testimony and provide encouragement to others
*helped several other families get into the Transitional Living Center when they found themselves homeless and in need of help
*recognized a desire to help others who are addicted to drugs and alcohol--she wants to be an LCDC
Sandra has been "wilderness" wandering--but, she has NOT been idle or lazy. She has times of depression--when rejection overwhelms her--but, the "manna" comes again in the morning (Exodus 16:14) and gives her the strength to continue. She has times when she wants to GIVE UP, but the water comes from the rock (Exodus 17:6) and refreshes her so she can fill out another application and go on another interview.
As I offer encouragement to Sandra, I keep telling her, "God has something GREAT coming to you." Sandra's Promised Land is out there...Sandra hears the Lord saying to her (just as he did Joshua) "Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9b)
And, so we wait by the Jordan River for God's command to cross over (Joshua 3:14)...Sandra's Promised Land is waiting for her AND, while she is waiting--she finds "Hope in the Wilderness."
As a record maker, TobyMac was a record breaker - attracting about 4,000 fans to selected book stores to Meet and Greet their own personal Star of Hope .....his lyrics are always positive and uplifting.
I set up OUR Star of Hope collateral right next to him and gave out Mission information to every one of his excited fans. It was a great way to create awareness among future donors and supporters who might some day volunteer at one of our shelters or write a check to help us serve over 2,000 meals each day to homeless men, women and children.
But what impressed me that day wasn't what TobyMac did on his CD - it was what he did IN PERSON. At our third and final book store CD signing - he was allotted an hour to say hello, sign and leave for the airport. After 90 minutes it was apparent that if he wanted to honor EVERYONE who lined up to meet him - he would miss his plane. He did just that - asked his people to reschedule his flight, got on the store's PA system and announced that he would meet all who were lined up to see him.... and at that point there were about 500 fans outside the store who hadn't yet entered the front door.
THEN came the impressive part. As the crowd pressed around TobyMac - a 13 year old boy leaned against a display shelf and it collapsed - very loudly and very publicly. Everything in the store stopped and the teen looked like a deer in headlights. Sensing the boy's uncomfortable situation, the award winning vocalist and father of five stood up, walked around the autograph table, reached out and hugged the boy - letting him and the hundreds of critical onlookers know that all is OK.
TobyMac speaks to millions with his music - but that day he spoke to hundreds with his actions. Too bad they don't give awards for that!
For information on how Star of Hope helps the homeless, visit sohmission.org and find out more about our Houston Emergency Shelter or to become a Houston Soup Kitchen Volunteer.
I love history, so I thought I would share a little with you. Next Thursday will be the 102nd Thanksgiving that the kitchens of Star of Hope have served meals to Houston's homeless. This Thanksgiving picture was taken sometime around 1912. The captions read: "Big, free Thanksgiving dinner. Here is where we feed'em. The Mission is open eighteen hours a day, and the Star of Hope shines brightly to all who come."
Star of Hope has always been more than a soup kitchen and place to sleep.... so much more than "3 hots and a cot." Even in the early days the Mission focused on helping men find jobs and putting families back together. Today, our programs cover the entire continuum of care from helping homeless men and women get off of the streets to long-term affordable housing.
To learn more, visit More Than A Soup Kitchen Houston. You may be surprised at the depth of the programs offered at Star of Hope.