Each February, thousands of Houstonians gather for dinner and an evening of inspiration and education, in support of the homeless of our city. It’s the Star of Hope Annual Banquet, and it’s next Friday, February 8th at 7pm in the Lanier Ballroom at the Hilton Americas downtown. If you aren’t already planning to attend, we’d love for you to join us! Seating is limited, so register today.
As a quick preview, we will be celebrating “Everything You Do” in serving Houston’s homeless men, women and families… and how together our community makes a significant impact in helping those in great need put their lives back together after experiencing homelessness. You’ll learn more about all the exciting ministries of the Star of Hope, which has been serving Houston’s homeless since 1907. And you’ll be treated to a great meal, powerful testimonies from Clients of Star of Hope and a special musical performance by Steven Curtis Chapman. You’ll be amazed at how much our community is doing together for our neighbors in great need.
Over the past 5 years Star of Hope has grown in the number of people we serve each day by 53%. Now, we serve 1,150 men, women and children daily. You’ve made this possible by your financial gifts, volunteer service with us, donations drives and participation in special events.
Thank you for being a part of serving our neighbors in need! And if you’re able, come and celebrate with us next Friday night.
Every day, Star of Hope reaches out and serves Houston’s homeless men, women and children in love and compassion. We are serving the most basic needs imaginable . . . a safe place to stay, a bath, clean clothes, a meal -- a caring heart open to share the trauma and show the way to a brighter tomorrow. It’s real, it matters and It’s life changing!
Read and enjoy this "guest blog" from Brooke Candelaria, who has made Star of Hope part of her mission to help the homeless and hurting in our city. She’s one of the tens of thousands of Houstonians who care and help in so many ways, through the Star of Hope family of ministries around Houston.
I hope you enjoy reading Brooke’s special story. And remember, without your help and financial support, none of this would be possible! Star of Hope serves today, as it has for more than 105 years. . . thanks to you!
We would love to hear YOUR story. Share why you personally support Star of Hope through volunteerism and giving as one of our GUEST BLOGGERS.
It’s always an exciting day at Star of Hope when the children return from Camp Good News. Through your generous support, we were able to send 119 school aged kids to camp this past week, where they experienced in a fun setting something of a normal childhood.
These kids are living with their families here at Star of Hope while their families are recovering from homelessness. Our hearts especially go out to the kids, who are the true victims of homelessness, as they often fall behind in school due to moving so much, or even worse, are neglected or abused through it all.
Thank you for your support of our children’s ministry around the city at Star of Hope! Through you, God is able to show them good and happy life experiences. Even more importantly, they are able to feel His love and learn about the plans He has for their lives.
Once homeless at the age of 6, Daronica is now pursuing a Masters Degree!
As Star of Hope works with families experiencing homelessness, we pay special attention to the children. They are the true victims in all their family is going through, and many times fall behind quickly in school. But with support and help while at the Star of Hope, more children of homeless families are catching up academically, dreaming their own dreams, and becoming successful, independent citizens in our community.
We had a very special guest at Star of Hope recently, who came to visit us 15 years after her family’s bout with homelessness. When Daronica was six, her family came to Star of Hope. Her mom was addicted to drugs and found the resources she needed for a fresh start in life. “Before, my mom was never around,” Daronica, now age 23, remembers. “She would just leave, and my brothers would have to take care of me.”
At Star of Hope things began to change. “It was a good experience for me and my sisters and brothers,” Daronica says. In addition to food, shelter and clothing, Star of Hope helps the children of homeless families with their own special needs. School age kids are in uniforms and back in school within just a couple of days, after school tutors help them catch up on their studies, some 1 or 2 years behind in grade level, and student ministries encourage them to find a faith in Christ and seek God’s perfect plan for their life.
Daronica says that the staff and volunteers also made a big impact on her life. Today, Daronica is pursuing a master’s degree in early childhood education. Because of the help she was given while at Star of Hope as a child, she continues to volunteer and invest in the lives of children.
Recently, Daronica shared some of her story on Star of Hope's a Guest Blog, Helping Houston's Homeless. Read My Background Is Not An Excuse To Give Up!
Your generous gifts and prayers help hundreds of children in our care today, like Daronica, to break the cycle and become all that God wants them to be. Thank you for your help and support as we invest in the lives of these beautiful creations God has made. We are grateful for friends like you!
Star of Hope's 2011 Ministry Report is available now. Take a look inside to see how your support is changing the lives homeless men, women and families in our community.
- 615,068 healthy, nourishing meals to reassure the hungry
- 87,218 donated articles of clothing and 5,910 toys and gifts to help families rebuild their lives
- 50,228 diapers for our littlest guests
- 6,641 medical, dental and mental health care solutions
- 93,861 basic hygiene items that are essential to providing a fresh, clean outlook on life
Thank You Houston!
“Where’s my manual?” she asked as she approached the desk.
“I’m sorry? What manual? I responded.
“This paper says if I pray this prayer I’ll get a manual. I prayed the prayer, so where is my manual?”
She held a gospel tract in her hand.
“Let me see that.” I took the tract from her hand. The tract offered a manual for life to anyone who prayed the sinner’s prayer and received Christ as their Savior.
“So you prayed this prayer?”
“Did you mean it?”
“Did God answer the prayer – forgive your sins, come into your heart and enter into a relationship with you? Do you have a personal relationship with him now?”
“Yes,” she beamed with a beautiful smile breaking across her face.
“I’ll get your manual.”
She walked away with a smile on her face and a New Testament in her hand – anxious to read more about her newfound Savior and Friend.
That said, on the evening of February 2nd, the Lanier Ballroom at the Hilton Americas was transformed into a glorious sanctuary where the theme of the program: Above All --taken from Michael’s 2002 Inspirational Song of the Year, of the same title-- set the tone for an incomparable night of ministry, worship, and reverence for the One Who makes all things possible. Michael’s deft touch on the Grand Yamaha and repertoire of songs both remembered and new were a perfect fit with the program and lifted the spirit of the evening to heavenly heights. In a room lit with fiber-optic stars peeking through a midnight backdrop, and with more than 2,000 Star of Hope donors, volunteers and first-timers in attendance, you could almost hear the heart of God beating with joy, for such a time as this.
It was not just a night to be enjoyed—though it was enjoyable from beginning to end. It was our moment of expressed gratitude to our many supporters, our faithful friends, who link arms with us throughout the year, helping us to care for the down-and-out, the dispossessed, the profoundly disappointed—the diverse urban-scape of homeless men, women and children who seek the hope and help that is available, at Star of Hope.
Thank you everyone! Thank you, Nino, of Flowers by Nino, for the gorgeous floral arrangements. Nobody does flowers like you. Thank you Bright Star Productions for letting our lights shine, Rick Christi, of Studio W, for your expert direction, Ben E. Keith for your generous contribution to our dinner, Blacktie for your fabulous photos, Bruce Padilla, of Baccarat, for making our first Points of Light gift a thing of beauty, and Edward Hankey, for giving it an elegant base on which to rest; Gerald Ray for filling our registration area with music that made our guest feel special, Courtney Rai of Magic Moments, Inc., for helping us reach for the sky, and Bonita Bevel, of the Hilton Americas, for keeping us grounded.
Thank you, friends who were there and those who could not come. Thank you Ariel, Tamokia and Courtney for sharing your stories of victory over unimaginable odds; the valiant veterans of the Color Guard for presenting our nation’s flags, and Scot Cameron, for your beautiful delivery of the National Anthem.
Congratulations Dr. Moorhead, the first recipient of the Star of Hope George and Barbara Bush Volunteer Service Award, for your selfless service in helping the homeless to see clearly. Thank you.
Above All, thank you, Lord, for making this night with friends possible.
Donation Opportunities Houston
Volunteer Opportunities Houston
Star of Hope has always been on the cutting edge of ministry to the homeless. Over the past 105 years of service there have been three distinct transitions in the homeless need:
- Serving men-only for our first 80 years.
- Serving women and families beginning in the mid-80‘s.
- Now, the third transition…serving a growing percentage of our city’s AT RISK and ON THE BRINK of Homelessness population.
2011 was a record year…with 25% more homeless people in Houston, and twice as many families homeless as there were just 2 years ago. Star of Hope stepped up, thanks to your amazing support, and served record numbers, all with open arms to anyone who came for help. Thank you for YOUR help…volunteering your time, bringing donations, giving financial gifts…and most importantly remembering us in your prayers.
One thing that you can always count on when you think of Star of Hope…this is a place where God Is At Work in the lives of our most needy individuals, and He does His Miracles here every day. It is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen! And all of us who work here do so with a reverent awe every day!
This new year, we are already focusing on how we can expand our job preparedness and job skills efforts for our clients. We are staying in touch with more of our graduates than ever before, to support them when they stumble or need a little extra help to stay on track. We are working in a more deliberate way than ever, to assist families and individuals who are ABOUT TO BE HOMELESS, by growing our day services and partnering more closely with other great organizations in Houston. And we are expanding our children’s and teen ministries to help prepare the children of our homeless families to live a different life…and break the cycle of poverty and homelessness in their generation.
Sound exciting? Then come join us and let’s make 2012 our best year ever of CHANGED LIVES in our great city!
Blessings to you and your family in the new year, and we look forward to working together with you in 2012.
Donation Opportunities Houston
Volunteer Opportunities Houston
One night at dinner time, Faith shared with her counselor that she had been struggling with the idea of taking her life. When her dad died, she had tried to jump in front of a car, but it swerved just in time to spare her young life. Faith has felt so alone. Her mom abandoned her as a baby, her brother disconnected from the family, and her high school age sister has moved away.
As she shared her deep scars that night, a whole new world opened up for Faith, as our staff shared with her the truth of God’s love for her, through His Son, Jesus Christ. Faith placed her trust and hope in Christ that evening, and began a new journey. Today she is learning from God’s Word and about God’s Plan for her life…the future and the hope He has for her!
We thank God for his infinite wisdom and perfect timing. We also thank so many of you who provided financial resources for Faith, and over 100 other homeless children and teens who attended Summer Camp this year!
Faith and Hope are very much alive, this summer, through the Children’s Ministries of the Star of Hope Mission.
Discover ways to help Houston's homeless men, women and children.
Visit Star of Hope Mission - Supporting Houston Ministries
- Alumni conduct weekend spiritual retreat camps.
- They organize many types of fellowships such as bowling fund raisers, acts of service outings, and sporting events to name a few.
- Several Alumni pick up current SOH programmers and take them to churches, ministry events and family outings.
Learn more about ACTS at Star of Hope Mission - Supporting Houston Ministries
Our alumni are men who have completed one of the many SOH programs, moved off the SOH campus in good standing and started a new life for themselves. In many cases, the SOH programs helped alumni to overcome homelessness, to receive healing from drugs and alcohol addiction, and to reconcile with their loved ones. Many of the alumni are so grateful to get a fresh start in life, to find new jobs, and to start afresh with their families that they want to give back even before they move off campus.
To help the alumni to satisfy this Attitude of Gratitude, the Alumni Ministry has developed over 20-service points that allow alumni to give back. Some alumni return to the Star of Hope Mission to minister and build relationships with men who are still in the SOH programs. Several alumni achieve this by visiting the campus and sharing time with programmers in one-on-one heartfelt talks. Several others return and facilitate small group meetings such as the 12-steps and process groups. A few of them return to the MDC campus to teach the Saturday Morning Bible Study. Several have received their callings to preach the Gospel of Christ and return after two years to preach in the MDC Chapel.
Sandra is excited about her future...she is working for Goodwill Industries and loves her job. While she was just diagnosed with a potentially terminal illness, she and her children continue to trust God with their present and their future. Sandra is concentrating on ensuring her children; Keiara-18; and Shawn-16; are ready for whatever life brings them. She prays that they know they are loved and she encourages them to dream for big, bright futures.
Cheri is gaining some ground. She felt she was spinning her wheels until recently. She had big dreams and plans that always seemed to be dashed at the last moment. However, she is getting those dreams and plans on track and the Lord is blessing her by placing encouraging, loving people in her path to help her along. Cheri was able to transition from part time to full time work last month; she was able to purchase a more reliable vehicle; and, she completed her FAFSA (financial aid forms) so she can return to school next month to complete her few more credit hours toward her BA in graphic design. She plans to leave this program a complete success.
As the staff consider the program since its inception, we have learned many things. The clients respond well to the spiritual and emotional encouragement offered through biblical counseling, Recovery Class, and Bible Fellowship. They encourage each other by offering to help when needed (see Artie's story "Please Pray for Me") and finding themselves as part of a positive community.
This past weekend, on June 4th, we had a Summer Fest. We reached out to our neighbors in the apartment complex and were able to encourage over 150 of our neighbors. "These are people we see every day in passing," Henry O. said of the event, "But, today I got to really talk to them and encourage them. They are nice people."
When we begin to see the next few "graduates" leave our program, we will know even more about them and the program's effectiveness. One thing we do know...we sure do have a great time encouraging each other with the Word of God and praying for each other, too.
Here are some of our kids who made some crafts for their mothers for Mother's Day:
We hope you will join us in the Summer of Hope and donate to Star of Hope Mission as we help our neighbors, others who are having hard times, and those who seek out shelter and assistance during these HOT summer months. Bless you and your families as you seek God's will for your lives!!
Learn more about New Horizons and Star of Hope's other life-changing programs at
Supporting Christian Ministries Houston.
Congratulations and many blessings to our graduates, parents, and supporters of our children. I would like to encourage parents and supporters to continue praying for, paving the way, and providing for our children’s academic pursuits and career advancements. As we strive to achieve excellence in academics and for the perfect vocation, let us always seek God first and His righteousness (Matt 6:33). As Christians, we should always expect God’s supply and will for our children’s life. After all, He is the supreme provider and wisest counselor. Whatever we need He will provide. Whatever we desire to become and long to achieve it will come to pass because of His wonder working power manifesting through us. For in him we live and move and have our being, Acts 17:28.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth, Psalms 127:4. Every archer’s arrow has a specific purpose—a target to hit. So, shall every parent position and aim their arrow (their child) to hit a spiritual bull’s eye (God’s will) every time. We must keep pointing our precious children towards the heart of God and trust His will for their life every step of the way.
Below are a few steps we can take as parents and supporters to position and lead our children into God’s desire for their lives:
- Give Them Direction: Spiritually nudge and encourage them with God’s Words to facilitate God’s will in their lives
- Creative Culture and Opportunity: Expose them to activities, environments, and organizations that arouse their spiritual consciousness and interest
- Connect Them to Others: Introduce them to strong believers they can relate to and who are capable of discipling them
- Train Them Up: Teach them to identify how God actively moves in all situations, i.e., work, home, play
- Pray Daily: Pray with them and for them. Pray God’s blessings and prosperity into their lives daily.
- Constant Communication: Maintain open dialogue with children. Listen well. Don’t solve all their problems. Every opportunity to teach them a lesson does not have to turn into a lecture. Give them support. Share from your own experience and let them make the connection with their own life. However, don’t use your child as a storehouse to stow your past sins and failures. Use wisdom in being transparent. Make sure you share things of the past that are applicable and useful to them for present situations.
- Walk Worthy: Live a lifestyle of godliness before them as an example of hope and holiness. Often times while rearing children, many lessons are caught much easier than taught. How parents respond under stress, in distress, and while going through life's test often times paint a more vivid, memorable, and meaningful picture than a 1000 words.
Reference Scripture: Deuteronomy 6:4-6, Joshua 24:15, Proverbs 2:1, Proverbs 22:6, Psalms 37:23, Colossians 1:10
If you've been following my blog the past two years, you know that Star of Hope has served record crowds since 2009, with the greatest overflow occurring at our Women & Family Emergency Shelter downtown. We have averaged 50 per night on the floor, with peaks of up to 118 for the past two calendar years. It's clear that the economy and all the disasters around us are displacing more and more families.
I must say, the most troubling number released yesterday, however, is the 10,933 school age CHILDREN in Houston, who are documented by our Houston area public school systems to be living homeless.
It's clear we need to do more. For some families, housing and job assistance will help get them back on their feet and living independently again. For most however, the causes of their homelessness run much deeper, and they need more comprehensive services to recover.
Star of Hope has been serving Houston's homeless continuously for 103 years now...it is Houston's oldest and largest ministry for our most needy Houstonians. We have learned so much about how to lead our guests into a new and fulfilling life. And we are working harder than ever in our history to expand our services and partnerships to reach the growing numbers of those in need.
The good news is that Today Is A Day Of Hope for thousands of these in our community, as Star of Hope and over 100 other service partners in our community reach out to help them!
Want to help? Go to our website and check out Volunteer Opportunities, or make a financial gift today. Summer is here and the numbers needing help are extremely high.
Houston, we have a problem. But together, with God's help and blessing, we can make a major, and for many, an eternal difference!
by John Mills
I thought that you might like to know that last evening we had 52 people sleep on the floor at the Women and Family Emergency Shelter (here in Houston). Thirty six of those were single women! Typically 40 to 50 percent of our clients suffer from some level of mental illness. Yesterday we received word that we have been conditionally approved for a grant to provide shelter to approximately 20 homeless and mentallyy ill women on a longer term basis! This is great news because today’s society does such a poor job of assisting the mentally ill. Twenty women may not seem like very much, but it is a start! Mother Teresa said “if you can’t feed 100 hungry people, just feed one”. I guess this grant is like our ONE! God bless, and remember: “He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done.” -- Proverbs 19:17. Who would not want to have a reward from the Lord?
See how your support touches and changes lives in Houston. Visit Supporting Houston Ministries to get Star of Hope's full 2010 Ministry Report.
Then today when I came into work, I was greeted by one of our kitchen staff with a couple of bags of candy that she wanted me to give to the teens. I gladly accepted the gift and she proceeded to tell me how much she missed the teens being there this weekend. (we took the teens to a spiritual weekend retreat in Huntsville, TX) She said that it makes such a difference having them in the kitchen and that they have been such willing servants to help out.
Recently, we finished a two week discussion with the teens about reaching their communities. We know that God is doing great things in the hearts of the youth here, and it is a blessing to see the evidence of the work that He is doing! I’ll be sure to give this gift of candy to the teens as an unexpected reward for their acts of service.
After school, all the kids will gather in our Chapel and have a fun afternoon making crafts and preparing gift bags to give their moms for Mother's Day.
At this event last year, each child had their picture taken to give mom as a gift. These were really nice "portrait" type photos, and in their frames, decorated by the children, made an especially nice gift. For many of these kids, this was the FIRST photo of themselves they had ever been able to give to their mom!
Later in the afternoon, when the parents came in, there was so much joy in the faces of the children as they presented their gifts…and their portrait, to their mothers. They were so proud and excited to give such a special "gift of themselves". Can’t you just picture it? I can’t wait to see what gift the Trees of Hope volunteers will help our children make this year!
Summertime at Star of Hope is all about the Kids… and it is such a special time! We have over 200 kids with us, home from school all summer. This gives us all day to work with them, provide enriching activities, teach them from God’s Word, and help them with their own issues in overcoming homelessness.
Please join us as a partner and make this a Summer of Hope by volunteering, making a donation of needed items, or giving financially to help at this very special time of year!
Learn more about Star of Hope Mission and how you can help at
Supporting Houston Ministries
For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” -- John 13:14-15
Last week I came into work like I always do on a typical Thursday. As the time rolled around for the teens to return from school, Dominck Mancuso came through my door. This surprised me a little bit because this is my faithful volunteer that helps out with the teens whenever he can. This man works for a large corporation that’s known all over the world and every week it takes him all over the world. He actually lives in New Jersey, but does work in Houston throughout the week. I remember one evening he came in looking a little ragged and I asked him how his day was and he said, “Oh, all-right. My day started in Bogota, Columbia.” But yet there he was faithfully showing up in my teen room hands out, ready to serve. On this particular day when he showed up, my surprise came because he normally shows up at 7:00 in the evening, not 4:30 in the afternoon. Then I remembered that he was here to tutor one of my teens who desperately needed his help to get caught up in school. Well, he did help her that day and other times since then! Week after week for the last three years, Dominick shows up- hands out, ready to serve.
So, why highlight this “star” volunteer of mine? I think Dominick’s faithfulness displays the example that Jesus calls his followers to demonstrate as servants. You see, the hands that formed this world, also reach down and washed dirty feet of the disciples displaying true humility as a servant. A servant’s heart is always willing to give whether of finances and possessions or time and energy. So, how dirty is your towel? How has God gifted you to give to your community? I thank God for sending Dominick Mancuso our way and greatly appreciate those who give as servants to those in need.
Visit Supporting Houston Ministries and learn more about Star of Hope Mission's Teen Ministry, Stars of 2morrow.
But this year we have FOUR teens to get accepted into college. Reva is going University of Texas @ Austin to study English, her sister Ronnesia is going to Lamar University for Nursing, Jasmine is going to Sam Houston State university to study Forensic Chemistry and Chanice will be attending University of Houston to study Psychology. That’s amazing.
It has been exciting for me as well as for them. And The Grace Foundation is helping each one of the girls with a $3000 scholarship. Maybe you can help these girls too.
I look forward to watching them walk across the stage this year and four years from now! Who is coming with me?
Supporting Houston Ministries