Donate to support class participants like Matt:
“In 2004, I received a 30 year sentence for methamphetamine and drug addiction, and I did six and half years in prison. For 40 years of my life, there was no hope. It was self-will run riot, drugs, and alcohol. That lifestyle has no hope. There’s no promise in it. There is death or prisons, and that’s about the only way out of that life.
Because of my drug addiction, my wife and I separated and divorced. Shortly after that I was incarcerated. Around four years after I was released, she wished me a happy birthday on Facebook Messenger. Within two weeks we were reconciled, but I still had no direction. She knew I needed to build a foundation on Christ. I know that God put Hope House in my path. I graduated from Jobs for Life in 2014 and Faith & Finances shortly after that. The classes not only gave me direction, but they gave me the foundation to build my life on.
That foundation is Christ-centered, and it’s helped me to set attainable goals. It’s helped me to develop a relationship with Christ, and through Christ, with my wife and strengthen that relationship tremendously. My personal relationships with friends and work associates have grown because they’ve seen something different in me that they respect. My wife and I started attending church on a regular basis. We joined a small group and became involved in church activities and started serving within the church. We started to be a part of the church instead of just attending on Sunday morning. Two years ago, my wife and I along with six other couples were led to plant a church. It has been amazing to see God's work through all of that.
In the seven years since I graduated from the classes at Hope House, I’ve worked about three jobs. I progressed from a construction job, to ironwork, to a maintenance position. I’m now lead maintenance where I work. Initially they didn’t hire felons. Now, some of the top positions in the factory are filled by people with a record, and we hire many from Hope House’s Program Living. I have had a chance to give back to my community and to Hope House. I feel really good about that and appreciate what Hope House has done for me.
If I had never come to Hope House and began my walk with Christ, I know my life would have been just like it had been for the previous 40 years. Nothing would have changed, and I would’ve gotten the same results. I would’ve been back in prison because the charges against me weren’t small things anymore. I had a record, and I had 18 years on the shelf. Now, my sentence is gone. I’ve gotten my rights restored, and I am a productive member of society and my community. My testimony shows God’s power to change people."
Hope House program participants share how the ministry has impacted their lives in celebration of the organization's ten year anniversary.
"About five years ago, Antonio and I were separated, and I moved to Bowling Green. We were always fighting because it didn’t seem like there was enough money to get through the month. We had no idea how to manage our finances, and we were extremely stressed. I came to Hope House for a food box and ended up getting a lifetime of change.
I learned about Faith & Finances through my Advocacy appointment. While I was in the class, I thought we were going to be late paying our light bill. Antonio was working at a restaurant and got paid daily, so we didn’t know if we’d be able to pay the bill with what he earned over the weekend. The staff at Hope House told me to come in on Monday if we couldn’t pay it, but we ended up having enough. I came to the office on Monday and ran down the hall saying, ‘I paid my light bill!’ I remember that being a real turning point for us.
Since then, we bought a house and some land, we’ve never been behind on a bill payment, and we went off of food stamps. Antonio even got his green card and work permit. We prayed for our daughter for 18 years, and after two miscarriages and one stillborn child, Olivia was born 15 months ago. God has completely restored our marriage, and we couldn’t be more blessed with our child."
Antonio: "Erica told me about the classes at Hope House, so I took Jobs for Life. I learned how to do an interview and make a resume. After the class, I took my resume to Indian Hills Country Club, and they offered me a job to help with the irrigation system. I’ve been there for four years, and now I’m a groundskeeper."
Erica: "I learned that I had always quit everything else, but I made it through Faith & Finances and had more confidence in who I wanted to become. I even started working at the Community Store and graduated Jobs for Life. It feels good to be able to pay our bills and be responsible. We give all glory to God. He led us to this place, and we just kind of fell in and did what was necessary."
"I was in an abusive relationship for over seven years until he kicked me out of our house. For four months before there was room for me to stay at The Salvation Army, I lived in a car. It was the winter, so I would sit in grocery stores just to get warm.
When a bed opened for me to stay at the shelter, I gave the car back to my ex and was left with just the clothes on my back. There are a lot of women who have been in abusive relationships and believe it’s their fault, but finally, at 52 years old, I decided I was done.
I spent ten months at The Salvation Army, so I was homeless for over a year. In October 2017, I got a job and learned about Faith & Finances at Hope House. I would work 14 hours some nights, but I was still at Hope House for every class.
I gained so much independence through Faith & Finances and learned that I could provide for myself. I have more responsibility because it’s my paycheck, my checking account, my savings, and I keep up with everything. Even though I don’t have furniture yet, I have my own apartment, and it means the world to me to have a safe place with my own key.
I’m just glad I am where I am today. I’ve really grown through all of this, and I have a whole different outlook on life. I thank God every night before I go to bed… well, morning because I work third shift… for another day with a job and a home."