Star of Hope Mission has played a leading role in serving Houston’s homeless population for more than a century. Have you ever wondered how we got started?
Rev. Dennis Robert Pevoto came to Houston in 1900 and spent six years assisting in the growth of Baptist churches. During this time, Evangelist Mordecai Ham (who led Billie Graham to Christ) and the former homeless alcoholic Richard Dowling introduced Dr. Pevoto to the needs of the homeless.
In early 1907, on a ship bound for Richmond, Virginia, Rev. Pevoto was awaken from a very special dream by the turbulent waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Dr. Pevoto was to open a refuge for men who were lost, homeless, alcoholic. The dream specified a plan for a chapel, dormitory, lunch counter, rest and reading room, and employment bureau. Even the name was given to Dr. Pevoto – Star of Hope Mission. Later that day, Dr. Pevoto shared the vision with his two traveling companions, and the trio began working on the plan.
Through the help of a caring community, churches, and business leaders, the Star of Hope Mission opened on July 1, 1907 in a two-story building at 714 Franklin Street.
Rev. Pevoto never drew a paycheck from Star of Hope. He simply answered God’s call to serve men in our community who were struggling through difficult times. Rev. Pevoto, along with the community, church and business leaders he recruited, were the very first Star of Hope volunteers!
No longer do unkempt men in tattered stove-top hats and string ties stand around plank tables to slurp down a steaming bowl of soup. Today, our mission continues to grow and families are increasingly the new face of homelessness. However, our need for faithful volunteers remains constant and unchanged!
Just as our founder was a volunteer, so is each member who serves on the Star of Hope Board of Trustees. Not only do we have outstanding volunteer leadership, volunteers play vital roles in many areas of our mission. Rather than say, “Volunteers make a difference from the top down,” I like to say, “Volunteers make a difference from the top throughout!” Last year, more than 7,000 volunteers from across our community, nation and around the world touched the lives of Houston’s homeless men, women and children!
This is the week, National Volunteer Week, in which the staff and clients at Star of Hope celebrate the tremendous faithfulness of our incredible volunteers. Quite simply, the work could not be accomplished without volunteers, and we cannot thank volunteers too often for their generous gifts of time and service. Just as Rev. Pevoto answered God’s call more than 100 years ago, we are exceedingly grateful for each volunteer who answers that same call today and forever touches the lives of the homeless in our community!