Hope Outreach is more than the local thrift store most people pass by every day on Van Buren.
The organization is comprised of many ministries that reach out to those in need in various ways, all funded, in part, by the store.
Community care and homeless ministry
The hub of Hope Outreach’s homeless ministry is 815 W. Maine, where those in need can find a place to refresh and recharge.
“It allows people to get showers. We have a washer and dryer for them to wash their clothes. They can brush their teeth, shave, comb their hair. They can get ready to get out and get a job,” said Matt Lohman, Hope Outreach executive director.
It also provides job seekers with an address for mail delivery and a phone number for contacts.
“We try to network with other agencies and organizations for opportunities (for them),” Lohman said.
The ministry is popular during extreme hot or cold temperatures, and a Bible study is conducted 8:30 a.m. weekdays.
The ministry also has Community Care, a program to help people with utility bills.
“We don’t give out cash. They can get vouchers for working. It can help them get up on their feet,” he said.
People also work for gasoline.
The ministry aims to help without giving free handouts, Lohman said.
Hope Outreach Community Care and Homeless Ministry is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and at other times depending on weather.
Hope Outreach’s Parenting Ministry teaches parenting skills.
“The Parenting Ministry is able to connect experienced parents to young, non-experienced parents or soon-to-be parents — also grandparents who are taking over parenting responsibilities,” Lohman said.
One of the ministry’s big programs is Earn While You Learn.
“They have a video curriculum with workbooks and worksheets. They can earn Mommy Money or Daddy Bucks to purchase things from the Mommy Store,” he said.
By completing the video class, participating in child enrichment programs or doing extra reports on parenting articles, parents can earn vouchers to purchase items from the store. The store provides items for babies and children, such as cribs, stuffed toys, clothes and high chairs.